The end of a nightmare. Twelve days after the parents of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz (26) were kidnapped in Colombia, the player’s father has also been released. His mother was found earlier.
Twelve days ago, Liverpool striker Luis Diaz suddenly found himself in a nightmare when he heard via a phone call from his home country that his parents had been kidnapped. The Colombian was logically not in the selection for the Premier League match against Nottingham Forest a day later. Liverpool won easily, but there was of course no celebration. Diogo Jota encouraged his teammate after his goal, manager Jürgen Klopp spoke of a situation that he had “never experienced before.”
Diaz’s father Luis Manuel Diaz and his mother Cilenis Marulanda had stopped at a gas station in their KIA car to buy melons, when a gang suddenly showed up on stolen motorcycles just after 5 p.m. local time. The couple was threatened with firearms and taken away.
LOOK. Luis Diaz’s family and friends asked for his father’s release
Marulanda was quickly found, but Diaz senior remained missing. Roadblocks were immediately set up. Helicopters and planes with heat sensors, sniffer dogs and dozens of soldiers and police officers were deployed to track him down. Colombian President Gustavo Petro said “all resources have been deployed” to find Díaz’s father. The search soon led to the jungle on the border with Venezuela. In the meantime, a reward of 200 million pesos – equivalent to 47,000 euros – was offered for the tip that would lead to Diaz.
A few days after the kidnapping, it became known that the National Liberation Army ELN was behind Diaz’s kidnapping. ELN is a communist guerrilla movement known for attacks, murders and kidnappings. They often kidnap relatives of wealthy citizens in order to extort them. The Colombian government immediately started negotiations for the release.
ELN took some time, but now Diaz senior has finally been released. According to Colombian media, he is now in the presence of the police. Luis Diaz himself has remained in Liverpool throughout the drama. After twelve days of anxious waiting, the nightmare is finally over.
The first image of Luis Manuel Diaz (center) after release:
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