Both parents of Liverpool star Luis Diaz are now safe and sound in his native Colombia following their ordeal at the hands of a guerrilla group.
Diaz’s father, Luis Manuel Diaz, has spoken about his experience of being held captive by a guerrilla group in his native Colombia for 12 days.
Diaz Sr and his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, were taken on October 28th by the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) group. Marulanda was soon let go and found by police, but Diaz was held for almost two weeks before being released on Thursday.
He has since told the local press that he intends to stay in his hometown, and that despite being treated well he had to endure 12 days almost without sleep, and “alot of quite difficult horseback riding, lots of mountains, rain.”
“There was no offer of resources [money],” Diaz said. “There was no need. Everything was done legally, thank God.
“It was very difficult, almost 12 days without sleep,” he continued.
“Although the treatment was good, I did not feel comfortable. I missed my things, my children, my town, my friends.
“The kidnappers told me to stay calm, that I was going to be safe given I was a humble and dear person in my town given the work I do there. They said they were going to do everything possible so that I could be released soon.
“I saw it, I experienced it and that’s what I felt. They did everything in their possibilities for me to be released yesterday [Thursday] and back with my family and also to make sure everyone in Europe and all my family and sons are calm. Thank God I am here.”
Diaz and his father have spoken with one another. The midfielder scored a 95th-minute equaliser against Luton Town last weekend, revealing an undershirt that read “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.
Diaz Sr revealed his son had told him “to keep going because things don’t end here and to have a lot of strength to recover from everything that has happened.”
Asked if he intends to move to England, Diaz said:
“My aspirations are to stay in my town, because in my town I have all my family, I have my father and my mother buried. My family in general is here in Barranca. The government has given me a great support, I trust that security will allow me to stay in Barranca.”
Diaz had several items of jewellery taken from him during the ordeal, including his wedding ring. The first member of the rescue party to speak with him, Monsignor Ceballos, is a Roman Catholic bishop, and said Diaz asked him to “marry him again”.
Ceballos said: “He told me I had to marry him again because he had lost his ring. He said he wanted to renew his wedding vows.
“They weren’t just expensive objects. Above all they had great sentimental value.”