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Chilean Footballer Valdivia Speaks of Kidnapping Experience

Chilean Footballer Valdivia Speaks of Kidnapping Experience
June 11
14:26 2012
chile news, noticias chile

Estádio Palestra Itália in São Paolo, where Valdivia plays with the Palmeiras.

SANTIAGO –- Jorge Valdivia has spoken out about his kidnapping experience in São Paolo, Brazil, in which he and his wife were held captive for three hours.

According to Valdivia, the armed kidnapper was initially unaware that his victim was a well-known footballer for Palmeiras, so Valdivia pretended to be just a student. As such, the ransom for his safe return was only $1,000 reais. However following some questioning, his true identity became known.

At that point the ransom price went up to 20,000 reais, a sum that the footballer could not immediately pay because the limit on his credit card was somewhat lower.

For the next three hours, the kidnapper took Valdivia and his wife to a series of locations, including a McDonalds and a car-part store. At each stop the kidnapper threatened the couple with shooting if they made any kind of signal to indicate they had been kidnapped.

Valdivia claims he tried to offer the kidnapper his vehicle, a check, and even his clothes in exchange for freedom, but with no success.

Meanwhile, Daniela Aránguiz, Valdivia’s wife, alleges that the kidnapper tried to touch her inappropriately.

The couple have answered claims that they have made the whole thing up. They said that some of the places the kidnapper took them had CCTV cameras and will thus document part of the three hours they spent as his hostage.

Speaking of his future playing football in Brazil, Valdivia has stated that nothing is certain. Since his wife and children are not returning to the country, it may be difficult to carry on without them. His contract with Palmeiras expires in 2015.

Unfortunately kidnapping is not uncommon in São Paolo, although Brazilian authorities claim that the last few months have seen a reduction in that kind of crime.

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Marianne Tweedie

Marianne is a native of the UK and was a journalist for I Love Chile in 2011 and early 2012. While in Santiago, Chile, she also worked as an English teacher in the English Opens Doors program.

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