Father of Colombian Footballer Luis Díaz Freed After 12 Days of Captivity: Support from UN, Armed Forces, and the Catholic Church

Luis Díaz’s Father Liberated After 12 Days of Captivity

Liberation of Luis Manuel Diaz. Luis Manuel Diaz (C), father of Liverpool’s forward Luis Diaz, descends from a helicopter after his release at the Alfonso Lopez airport in Valledupar, Colombia on November 9, 2023. The ELN guerrilla, in peace negotiations with the Colombian government, released this Thursday the father of the Liverpool football player Luis Diaz, kidnapped since October 28 in a border area with Venezuela, according to images broadcast by local media. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) | Photo: AFP

Luis Manuel Díaz, the father of Colombian football player Luis Díaz, has been freed by the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) after being held captive for 12 consecutive days. The operation, supported by the United Nations, the Armed Forces, and the Catholic Church, successfully secured his release.

“We thank God for the liberation of Mr. Luis Diaz! With him are Monsignor Francisco Ceballos, Bishop of Riohacha, and Monsignor Héctor Henao, delegate for Church-State relations, who formed the humanitarian commission responsible for facilitating his release,” clarified the Episcopal Conference.

The release of Luis Diaz’s father has sparked a wave of positive comments on social media, with many internet users celebrating the good news. President Gustavo Petro also expressed his joy through a brief message on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Luis Diaz himself rushed to his father’s rescue just minutes before playing in the Europa League championship match in Toulouse. Liverpool’s coach, Jürgen Klopp, openly expressed his relief that this distressing situation had come to an end.

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“Lucho is very happy, just like all of us. It’s a good feeling, a state of love. We asked him if he wanted to play today, and he said yes, so he will,” demonstrated the German trainer.

Among others, the English club posted on their Instagram account: “We are delighted with the news of Luis’s father’s health and safety. We thank everyone involved in ensuring his liberation.”

Luis Manuel Diaz | Photo: GUILLERMO TORRE / SEMANA

Why Did Luis Díaz’s Dad Become a Target?

The surveillance and subsequent kidnapping of Luis Díaz’s father were not spontaneous acts. Authorities believe that there was a planning period of at least five months. The captors fully identified their victim, studied his routine, and learned about his home life.

Cilenis Marulanda, the mother of the athlete, revealed to the authorities that the kidnappers intercepted their truck, drugged them, and took them away. However, it is important to note that they were forced to abandon the vehicle in the middle of the road to avoid detection, and then they escaped on motorcycles.

Otty Patiño, a member of the National Government delegation in discussions with the ELN, confirmed that the guerrilla group was responsible for the kidnapping of Luis Manuel Diaz. “We are aware that the abduction was carried out by a rogue unit within the ELN,” he stated.


One Response

  1. This is such a relief! Glad to hear that Luis Díaz’s father has been freed from his captivity. The collective support and efforts from the UN, Armed Forces, and the Catholic Church undoubtedly played a crucial role in ensuring his safe release. Praying for their family’s well-being and strength during this difficult time.

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