Luis Diaz’s father kidnapped by terrorist group, confirms Colombian government

Diazs father, Luis Manuel Diaz, was kidnapped along with his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, on Saturday night in the town of Barrancas, La Guajira.

Immediate police intervention saw the swift rescue of Marulanda, but Diaz Sr. remains missing, with police and army forces searching mountain ranges and jungle.

There had been fears the Liverpool wingers father had been smuggled into neighbouring Venezuela, but this has since been dismissed.

Following a reported arrest in Barrancas on Wednesday morning, various outlets in Colombian have reported confirmation of the group behind the crime.

Semana, Cambio and El Tiempo all corroborate word from the Colombian government that the National Liberation Army (ELN) orchestrated the kidnapping.

ELN, who have been operating since 1964, are a guerrilla group recognised as terrorists by Colombia, Venezuela, the United States, Canada and the European Union.

A government statement, signed by peace negotiator Otty Patino, reads:

Today we have officially learned that the kidnapping perpetrated on October 28, in the Barrancas department of La Guajira, of which Luis Manuel Diaz and Cilenis Marulanda, father and mother of the soccer player [Luis Diaz], were victims, was perpetrated by a unit belonging to the ELN.

Although Mrs. Marulanda was released a few hours later, the players father has been kidnapped for five days.

The governments peace negotiators have held talks with ELN, demanding the immediate release of Diaz Sr.

We remind the ELN that kidnapping is a criminal practice, violative of International Humanitarian Law, the statement continues.

#Comunicado ? | La delegacin del Gobierno Nacional en la Mesa de Dilogos de Paz con el Ejrcito de Liberacin Nacional, ELN, se permite informar a la opinin pblica que:

Alto Comisionado Paz (@ComisionadoPaz) November 2, 2023