The mother of Liverpool star Luis Diaz has issued a passionate plea to kidnappers to release her husband – eight days after he was kidnapped at gunpoint in Colombia.
Diaz shared the message ‘Liberta Para Papa’ (freedom for dad) after scoring a last-gasp equaliser for Liverpool at Luton. The Colombian was making his first appearance since his father Luis Manuel Diaz was kidnapped, and negotiations continue over his release.
The 58-year-old was taken hostage at gunpoint alongside his wife on 28 October at a gas station in Colombia. The incident occurred in the northern province of La Guajira, with Diaz one of the highest profile individuals in the nation due to his prominence with the Colombian national team.
Diaz’s parents were both seized by the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) group. His mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued by police but his father has been held captive since. It has now been eight days since the incident.
It was outlined on Friday evening by a representative of the group that Diaz senior would be freed “as soon as possible”. And just hours later, the group have released a statement confirming his impending release. However, that is still yet to occur.
“I want them to release him now,” Cilenis Marulanda said on Sunday, as she was wore a t-shirt carrying the message ‘your family is waiting for you’. She added: “That the people who are keeping him free him now back to me, because we want to have him back home.”
The Colombian government intervened in a bid to free Diaz’s father this week by negotiating with ELN. Liverpool star Diaz, who missed the Reds’ win over Nottingham Forest last weekend and the EFL Cup clash at Bournemouth due to the incident, had been kept abreast of developments in England throughout the week.
Diaz scored in stoppage time to bring Jurgen Klopp ’s side level after Tahith Chong looked to have given Luton all three points at Kennilworth Road. Diaz was a late substitute for the visitors – having not been involved in his side’s recent matchday squads.
“What he and his family have been through in the past few weeks, you can’t help but feel absolute joy,” commentator and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports. “It is a great leap and gets Liverpool back in it. Some things are bigger and more important than football and what he has been through certainly are.”