Colombian president Gustavo Perro confirmed Saturday that the parents of Liverpool forward Luis Diaz were kidnapped, and more information has come out about their alleged captors. According to a report from the Associated Press, the Colombian government said Thursday that members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) perpetrated the crime.
The couple was reportedly driving to their home when they were stopped by gunmen on motorcycles at a gas station in Barrancas. Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued by police just a few hours later. However, Diaz’s father, Luis, is still missing.
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The peace delegation of the Colombian government, led by Otty Patiño, has been in negotiations with the ELN about the release of Diaz’s father.
“We demand that the ELN releases immediately Mr. Luis Manuel Díaz and we say as of now that they are entirely responsible to secure his life and integrity,” Patiño said.
Diaz skipped Liverpool’s Premier League match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday while the search for his father continues. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he had to “make a late change” to the lineup and described the moment as a “worrying situation for all of us and it was a pretty tough night,” per ESPN.
Ahead of Sunday’s game, Liverpool also issued a statement hoping for a safe and quick resolution.
“It is our fervent hope that the matter is resolved safely and at the earliest possible opportunity,” the statement read. “In the meantime, the player’s welfare will continue to be our immediate priority.”