Luis Díaz’s Father Released After Kidnapping in Colombia; Liverpool Striker’s Parent Held by ELN

The father of Liverpool footballer Luis Díaz, Luis Manuel Díaz, has been released after a 12-day kidnapping ordeal in northern Colombia, involving the guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN). The Colombian government, currently engaged in peace negotiations with the ELN, confirmed the release on Thursday.

The abduction, which occurred on October 28 in the town of Barrancas, garnered significant international attention. The situation escalated when Luis Díaz publicly appealed for his father’s release after a Premier League match for Liverpool, where he displayed a T-shirt inscribed with “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.

Initially, the identity of the abductors was unclear. However, the Colombian government soon disclosed that they believed an ELN unit was responsible. The ELN acknowledged their involvement, terming it a mistake and stating that their top leadership had commanded the release of Díaz senior.

An ELN statement pointed out that their efforts to release Díaz were complicated by military activity in the region, claiming that these conditions hindered a safe release. In response, the Colombian military adjusted their positions to aid the process.

In the kidnapping incident, both of Luis Díaz’s parents were taken by armed individuals on motorcycles at a gas station in Barrancas. Díaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was swiftly rescued by police, who established roadblocks around the 40,000-population town near the Venezuelan border.

Subsequent to the kidnapping, Colombian special forces searched for Luis Manuel Díaz in a cloud-forested mountain range spanning the Colombia-Venezuela border. Additionally, a $48,000 reward was offered for information leading to his rescue.

Luis Díaz, 26, is a prominent figure in Colombia’s national soccer team and moved to Liverpool in a transfer valued at $67 million.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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