Liverpool star Luis Diaz's father 'captured by rebels', Colombian government says

2 November 2023, 22:22

Diaz's father has been abducted as the player urged protesters to march for his release
Diaz's father has been abducted as the player urged protesters to march for his release. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The father of Liverpool footballer Luis Díaz was kidnapped by left-wing rebels, the Colombian government has said.

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Luis Manuel Díaz was seized at gunpoint alongside his wide by the National Liberation Army (ELN) at a petrol station in Barrancas, the national government has said.

Hundreds of army personnel have been deployed to rescue the Liverpool star's father after police originally said a criminal gang was behind the kidnappings.

It comes after the Liverpool star called for a march to free his kidnapped father in Colombia as he broke his silence on the abduction.

The 26-year-old forward shared a post on Instagram calling for the release of Luis Manuel "Mane" Diaz, who is still missing after Diaz's parents were taken by gunmen on Saturday night.

Marulanda, Luis' mum, was rescued in the same town but it is feared Diaz's father has been taken to neighbouring Venezuela.

The Instagram post called for a march on October 31 and urged protesters to bring candles as a "light of hope".

Read more: Police search forest for kidnapped father of Liverpool star Luis Diaz - as they offer £39k reward for information

Diaz has broken his silence over his father's kidnapping
Diaz has broken his silence over his father's kidnapping. Picture: Alamy

Police and the Colombian military have been tasked with finding Mane Diaz, with the country's president Gustavo Petro saying "all the public forces" have been mobilised to track him down.

Helicopters and drones are scouring the country while roadblocks have been set up.

Police were searching the Perija mountain range on the Venezuelan border this week.

Read more: Liverpool star Luis Diaz' mother rescued after parents' kidnap by armed men, with claims father has also been returned

Colombian police director general William Salamanca was seen visiting the operation in order to "recognise our commandos for their bravery and commitment to rescue him safe and sound"

A reward of 200m pesos, or £40,000, for any information leading to Mane Diaz's rescue has been posted by police.

Protesters called for Mane Diaz's safe return
Protesters called for Mane Diaz's safe return. Picture: Alamy

No demands have been made for a ransom.

Colombia's attorney general said he fears the father could have been taken out of the country.

"If he ends up crossing the border and he's in Venezuela, we have to ask President Gustavo Petro... to help us with freeing Luis Diaz's father," Francisco Barbosa said.

Colombia's football federation has also pleaded with the captors to release Diaz's father.

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