The Colombian government confirmed the Liverpool striker’s father on Thursday Luis Diaz He was released 12 days after being kidnapped in northern Colombia by members of the guerrilla group National Liberation Army, or ELN.
The release was announced by the government delegation that is currently in peace talks with the ELN.
The kidnapping of Luis Manuel Diaz in October. 28 The small town of Barrancas quickly attracted international attention. On Sunday, the younger Diaz appealed for his father’s release after scoring a goal for Liverpool in a Premier League match, releasing a T-shirt that read “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.
It was initially clear who did the kidnapping. But the Colombian government announced last week that it had information that Diaz had been kidnapped by an ELN unit.
The ELN later admitted the kidnapping, saying it was a mistake, and the group’s top leadership ordered the release of the elder Díaz.
An ELN statement on Sunday said the planned release was hampered by the military deployment in northern Colombia and that it could not guarantee a safe release under those circumstances. Colombia’s military said Monday it was shifting its position to facilitate the release.
Diaz’s parents, both from Liverpool, were kidnapped by armed men on motorcycles from a gas station in Barrancas. But the footballer’s mother, Silenis Marulanda, was rescued within hours by police who cordoned off roads around the town of 40,000 people, which is near Colombia’s border with Venezuela.
After the kidnapping, special forces are deployed to search for Diaz’s father in a mountain range that spans both countries and is covered in cloud forests. Police also offered a $48,000 reward for information leading to him.
The 26-year-old striker is one of the most talented players in the Colombian national team. He joined Liverpool in a deal worth $67 million.