November 30, 2023

Liverpool star reunited with kidnapped father after days in captivity

Emotional Luis Diaz embraced his crying father on Tuesday as the pair were reunited for the first time since his 12-day kidnapping in Colombia.

The Liverpool forward, who flew back to his country ahead of the November international break, arrived in the city of Barranquilla on Tuesday morning to reunite with his father, Luis ‘Mane’ Diaz, and family.

Diaz Snr. and his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, who was freed shortly after the kidnapping, were kidnapped off the streets of Colombia at gunpoint by four armed men on motorcycles on October 28, Daily Mail Sports reports.

The footballer’s father remained in captivity for almost two weeks until he was freed last Thursday, having been taken by armed members of the left-wing guerrilla group Ejercito de Liberation Nacional (ELN).

Diaz Jr is seen embracing his father while reuniting with friends and family in the images shared by the Colombian Football Federation.

Colombian police confirmed last week that they have arrested four members of a criminal group called Los Primos (The Cousins), and the first pictures of the assailants have since been revealed.

The arrested men were named locally as Andrys Alcides Bolivar Bolívar; Marlon Rafael Brito Bolivar; Brayan Javier Morales Sanjuan; and Yerdinson Bolivar Bolivar.

Police say they will be facing charges including kidnapping and theft.

“The Colombian Football Federation thanks the National Government, the Military Forces and the National Police, as well as all the institutions and officials that made the release of Luís Manuel Díaz, father of our player Luís Díaz, possible,’ a statement from the Colombia FA read.

“Football as a sporting discipline symbolizes talent, dedication, teamwork and the intrinsic values ​​of human beings. In Colombia it must continue to be a benchmark for entertainment, healthy competition, unity and joy.

“Therefore, we insist on the need to maintain this activity, as well as those who are involved in it, in the sporting and administrative part and their families, outside of any scenario other than sports.”

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