Skip to main content

Colombian judge orders prison for 2 suspects in the kidnapping of parents of Liverpool soccer player

Share
BOGOTA, Colombia -

Two suspects in the kidnapping of the parents of Liverpool soccer player Luis Diaz were ordered sent to prison by a judge, Colombia's Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday, accusing one of the men of being the link to a person close to the family who provided information about the victims.

Andres Alcires Bolivar and Marlon Rafael Brito are also accused of maintaining contacts with members of the National Liberation Army, or ELN, in the planning and execution of the Oct. 28 abductions in Barrancas, a town in La Guajira in Colombia's northeast of Colombia.

Diaz's parents - Luis Manuel Diaz Jimenez and Cilenis Marulanda -- were kidnapped by a unit of the ELN at a gas station by armed men on motorcycles.

Marulanda was rescued by police a few hours later, but Diaz's father was held captive for 12 days by the ELN. The father was released on Nov. 9 near the Serrania del Perija, bordering Venezuela, where facilitators from the Catholic Church and the United Nations had flown by helicopter.

Prosecutors said in a statement that Alcires Bolivar was a merchant in La Guajira who had been contacted by a member of the ELN to help him kidnap Diaz's parents. He allegedly went to Barrancas to convince "a person who was close to the Diaz family" to participate in the kidnapping and to learn about the victims' routines.

Rafael Brito allegedly helped in the logistics of the kidnapping, including planning the deception under which Diaz Jimenez and Marulanda were abducted at the gas station. Prosecutors say the soccer player's parents went there to fulfill a promise of support for the candidacy of a relative who was running for the Barrancas Council.

The two men have denied involvement in the kidnapping and other charges.

Diaz plays from the English club Liverpool and Colombia's national soccer team.

After the kidnapping, special forces were deployed to search for Diaz's father in a mountain range that straddles Colombia and Venezuela. Police also offered a US$48,000 reward for information that led to him.

The ELN acknowledged the kidnapping, saying it was a mistake and that its top leadership had ordered the father's release.

Diaz's parents were taken amid peace negotiations between Colombia's government and the guerrilla group.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

opinion

opinion 5 reasons not to invest in mutual funds

Traditionally, mutual funds have stood as a go-to investment strategy for those looking to grow their wealth without the effort of stock-picking. But financial columnist Christopher Liew outlines some reasons why mutual funds often aren’t the golden ticket they're made out to be, especially in Canada.

Stay Connected