The militant insurgency group known as the National Liberation Army (ELN) has been identified by the Colombian government as responsible for the kidnapping of Luis Diaz’s father.
The search for Luis Manuel Diaz, the father of the Liverpool player, is ongoing after he and his wife were abducted by armed individuals on motorcycles last week.
While Cilenis Marulanda, the winger’s mother, was released shortly after the initial kidnapping, efforts are still underway by the police to locate Manuel Diaz.
Presently, the Colombian government is engaged in peace negotiations with the ELN, as the country has been grappling with the enduring conflict for nearly six decades.
Police gives an update on Luis Diaz’s father kidnapping
A statemet read: “Today we have officially learned that the kidnapping carried out on October 28, in Barrancas, department of La Guajira, of which Luis Manuel Diaz and Cilenis Marulanda, father and mother of the soccer player Luis Fernando, were victims Diaz Marulanda, was perpetrated by a unit belonging to the ELN.
“Although Mrs. Marulanda was released a few hours later, the player’s father has been kidnapped for five days. Additionally, a delegation of the National Government for peace talks with the ELN, we express all our solidarity with Luis Diaz, his family, with the entire country and with the millions of followers of the player in the world.
“But We demand that the ELN immediately release Mr. Luis Manuel Diaz, and we remind him that it is his entire responsibility to guarantee his life and integrity.”
An arrest has already been made by the police, targeting the individual believed to be responsible for tracking and providing information about the whereabouts of Luis Manuel Diaz and his wife to the group involved in the kidnapping.
Given concerns that the perpetrators might attempt to smuggle Luis Manuel into Venezuela, authorities have offered a reward of 200 million pesos (£40,000/$49,000) for any information related to the kidnapping.
The case has triggered significant outrage in the town of Barrancas, La Guajira, where Luis Manuel is highly regarded. The local community organized a candle-lit march, demanding his release. Many participants wore white t-shirts featuring a picture of the kidnapped victim, showing their support and solidarity.