The Colombian government announced on Thursday that Luis Manuel Diaz, the father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz, has been released by the National Liberation Army (ELN), a guerrilla group, after almost two weeks in captivity. The incident occurred on October 28 in the town of Barrancas, where Mr. Diaz and his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, were abducted. Fortunately, the police managed to rescue Marulanda shortly after the kidnapping, while Mr. Diaz was held captive until yesterday.
In a surprising turn of events, ELN publicly acknowledged that the kidnappings were a mistake and ordered the release of Mr. Diaz. This incident gained significant international attention after Luis Diaz scored a crucial last-minute goal to salvage Liverpool from a potential defeat against Luton Town on Sunday. In a heartfelt gesture, Diaz revealed a message written on his jersey, “Libertad Para Papa” (freedom for dad), rallying support from the global football community.
The release of Luis Diaz’s father highlights the ongoing issue of kidnappings in Colombia, with over 160 cases reported and 121 individuals released by various armed groups between January 2022 and September 2023. This incident serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by the country and the efforts needed to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.