Luis Diaz‘s father has now been RELEASED following his kidnapping by a guerrilla group, and will be reunited with his family following a successful rescue mission.
Diaz’s father, Luis Manuel Diaz, was kidnapped along with his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, on the evening of October 28 in the town of Barrancas, La Guajira.
Diaz’s mother was found shortly after the kidnapping, but his father had remained captive.
It was later announced by Colombian authorities that Diaz’s father and mother had been kidnapped by representatives of ELN, a guerrilla group recognised as terrorists.
On Thursday, a helicopter with representatives from the United Nations and the Catholic Church made the trip for his rescue, after ELN asked for military operations to leave the area.
Vuelve “Mane” a casa… qué felicidad Luis Díaz que tienes a salvo a tu papá Luis Manuel Díaz ???bendito sea Dios y que los secuestradores del ELN paguen por lo que hicieron. pic.twitter.com/cTGzAvpcXu
— Vicky Dávila (@VickyDavilaH) November 9, 2023
Per @RevistaSemana – the first photo of Luis Manuel Diaz following his successful rescue from ELN kidnappers this afternoon.
Amazing news after 12 days. pic.twitter.com/QyXNUXThvm
— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) November 9, 2023
Diaz Sr. has now been released, and has been pictured with members of the Catholic Church in the village of El Salado, La Guajira.
According to Colombian outlet Semana, who have covered the story throughout, Diaz Sr. is “in good health conditions,” with the helicopter later flying him to Valledupar.
He will eventually be transported back to Barrancas, which is around an hour-and-a-half away, to be reunited with his wife and family.
Diaz missed two matches for Liverpool during a period of unimaginable stress for himself and his family, but returned with a goal at Luton that led to the unveiling of a message that read “LIBERTAD PARA PAPA” in Spanish, translating to “FREEDOM FOR DAD” in English.
He then pleaded for the “prompt release” of his father on social media, and nearly two weeks after the kidnapping, his father has now been safely rescued.
Words are not enough for the huge relief that comes with now knowing Diaz Sr. has been safely released and soon to be back with his family.
It remains to be seen whether Diaz will return to Colombia before the upcoming international break, though he is expected to be called up to the national team.
Colombia will host Brazil in a World Cup qualifier on November 17, in the city of Barranquilla.