A massive search is under way for Liverpool winger Luis Diaz's father, kidnapped in Colombia Saturday along with his wife, who has since been released.
Police have been tightlipped about details of the investigation, but here is what we know:
- The kidnapping -
Colombian media has reported that Luis Manuel Diaz and Cilenis Marulanda were kidnapped Saturday by armed men with motorcycles at a gas station in the Indigenous family's home town of Barrancas, near the border with Venezuela.
Footage from a security camera, the location of which AFP has verified, showed a high-end pickup truck in the vicinity, followed by a motorbike.
Hours after the kidnapping, President Gustavo Petro said the footballer's mother had been rescued, but her husband was still unaccounted for.
The search involves at least 200 police, soldiers, commando members, cartographers, judicial police and pilots of special search and rescue aircraft.
At a press conference Sunday, Attorney General Francisco Barbosa said the missing man "could be" in Venezuela, without providing further details.
- The investigation -
Police chief General William Salamanca said Monday his officers were doing a sweep "house by house," collecting information.
Police have offered a reward equivalent to $48,000 leading to information on Diaz's whereabouts.
"We have information on people who may have been linked to the event. There was planning," deputy police director General Nicolas Zapata told reporters.
Colonel Giovanni Montanez, director of the elite military unit against kidnapping and extortion, told Blu Radio that "so far no demands have been made... no calls have been received" for ransom.
Colombia is coordinating the search in collaboration with the Interpol office in Venezuela, said Salamanca.
- Armed groups -
Barrancas with its 38,000 inhabitants is in a northern part of Colombia where criminal groups as well as rightwing paramilitary fighters, dissidents of the now-defunct FARC armed group and ELN guerrillas, are known to operate.
After being rescued, Diaz's mother could not reveal "anything in particular" about her captors, said Montanez.
In six decades of civil conflict, Colombia has registered some 38,000 kidnappings, mainly by armed groups funding their operations through ransom money.
- Who is Luis Manuel Diaz? -
The senior Diaz used to be an amateur coach at the only football school in Barrancas, where his son showed promise from a very young age.
He is credited with aiding the meteoric rise of the Liverpool and Colombia striker known as "Lucho" -- the first Indigenous Colombian to make it to world football's top echelons.
In his hometown, resident Leonardo Diaz, 41 (no relation), told AFP he was "sad and dismayed" by the kidnapping of a man he described as "a humble person of the people."
The younger Diaz has played for his country 43 times and arrived at Liverpool last year from Portuguese club Porto.
He has played 11 games with Liverpool and scored three goals.