Luis Diaz makes first public statement since kidnapping of parents

  • The Colombian's parents were taken by armed gunmen over the weekend
  • Diaz's mother subsequently rescued by police but father is still missing
  • Liverpool forward shares post on Instagram calling for his immediate release

Luis Diaz is awaiting positive news from Colombian authorities
Luis Diaz is awaiting positive news from Colombian authorities / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Luis Diaz has taken to social media to call for the immediate release of his father after he was kidnapped by armed gunmen over the weekend.

Diaz's mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was also abducted in the town of Barrancas, though she has since been rescued by authorities.

The Colombian army are assisting law enforcement in searching for Diaz's father, who is believed to have been taken into a mountainous region in the north of the country. Officials have, however, not ruled out the possibility that he has been smuggled over the border into neighbouring Venezuela.

El Tiempo report that 230 elite police and army commandos are assisting the operation, which includes the use of a Black Hawk helicopter and an airplane equipped with heat-detection sensors.

A march was held in Barrancas calling for the immediate release of Diaz's father, with a poster advertising the event shared by the Liverpool forward on his Instagram account. It was accompanied by the message "free him now" and hundreds of people took to the streets to show solidarity and support.

General Alejandro Zapata, the deputy director of the Colombian National Police, has suggested that individuals potentially involved in the kidnap plot have been identified on security cameras, but revealed the complexity of the search given the perpetrators may have crossed over the border.

Liverpool showed their support for Luis Diaz in the weekend win over Nottingham Forest
Liverpool showed their support for Luis Diaz in the weekend win over Nottingham Forest / IAN HODGSON/GettyImages

"We have clarity of people who could have been linked to the event," he said (via Semana). "When events like this occur, it is generally not spontaneous, there is prior planning, people who drag people to a place, that is, they locate them so that others can arrive, and that is what we are investigating.

"What we know is that the kidnapping occurs in La Guajira and logically it is close to the border, we do not have at this time any element of judgment that indicates that the border has been crossed. We can't say for sure, but we don't rule it out either. It's quite possible that they're looking for a chance to escape to that place.

"We have made progress in the investigation, there are personnel from the Gaula and the Intelligence and Judicial Police who are analysing that information."

Diaz missed Liverpool's 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League at the weekend, with the 26-year-old granted compassionate leave by the club. He's not expected to be involved in their Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth either, but reports suggests he will remain in England amid fears over his safety.