Colombian soccer legend Faustino Asprilla and his family have fled his home after receiving death threats by drug trafficking organization “Los Rastrojos,” the soccer player said Thursday.
“Today is one of the saddest days in my life. I am forced to abandon my own homeland, Tulua, for being a victim of extortion of a group of antisocials,” the soccer player said in a press statement.
“I have given my whole life to soccer to represent my Tulua, my Colombia, And today I have to leave running from my own land,” Asprilla said.
On Twitter, the soccer legend expressed his frustration about becoming a victim of extortion. “I feel completely indignant. How many more people would be going through the same as I, without being heard?” said Asprilla.
Newspaper El Espectador reported that hooded men had come to Asprilla’s home in the north of the Valle del Cauca state, demanding the soccer player talk to the local crime lord about protection payments or accept violent consequences.
According to the authorities, Rastrojos ringleader “Porron” is behind the threats against Asprilla and his family. Police immediately offered a $60,000 reward for information leading to the suspected extortionist and drug trafficker.
The Rastrojos are a drug trafficking organization that originates from the area where Asprilla lives.
Until 2012 it was considered Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking group, but turf wars with rival group “Los Urabeños” and the voluntary surrender of the group’s founders to US authorities reduced the Rastrojos’ territorial control.
- Comunicado de prensa (Faustino Asprilla)
- Ofrecen $115 millones por alias ‘Porrón’, responsable de las amenazas contra ‘Tino’ Asprilla (El Espectador)
- ‘Tino’ Asprilla y su familia reciben amenazas por parte de ‘Los Rastrojos’ (Cable Noticias)