Liverpool star Luis Diaz’s father has been freed 12 days after a Colombian guerilla group kidnapped him. Luis Manuel Diaz is now finally set to be reunited with his family after it was claimed that a helicopter choppered him out of the jungle on Thursday.
Diaz was kidnapped along with his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, on October 28. Cilenis was released the next day but Diaz remained missing. He has now been freed after helicopters flew him out of the jungle lair where he had been held captive, with the Colombian FA since confirming the news.
His Liverpool footballer son was granted time off by the Premier League club but returned last week. He struck a late equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Luton and revealed a message under his shirt that read: “Freedom for Papa.”
Diaz Jr later posted a picture of his celebration on X alongside the caption: “This goal is for my father’s freedom and all the kidnapped in my country.”
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It has now been reported that Diaz has finally been freed from the Colombian guerilla group, despite them releasing a statement saying that it would not be possible for security reasons. Colombian radio station LA FM claimed they had been able to establish that the process for Diaz to be rescued began on Wednesday.
Colombian media now report that the 58-year-old has been freed and is now safe at the hands of a UN committee. Helicopters were seen circling the border between La Guajira and Cesar where it was agreed that a Catholic Church representative would meet him.
The Catholic Church representative was the first port of contact before the safe passage for Diaz to return to his family in Barracas could commence. He was kidnapped alongside his wife at gunpoint in his home town nearly three weeks ago.
The positive news comes despite the National Liberation Army – the guerilla group better known by its acronym ELN – insisting that releasing Diaz would not be possible due to military activity. They claim that the area in which they operate is surrounded by government military forces.
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ELN insisted they would not return Diaz until government forces backed away from that region. “This scenario does not allow carrying out the release plan quickly and safely, where there is no risk for Mr. Luis Manuel Díaz,” a statement read.
Diaz Jr has stayed in England during the tough time for his family. The 26-year-old winger played and scored against Luton and, according to head coach Jurgen Klopp, is in line to play against Toulouse on Thursday evening.
“He decided last week, because he cannot go to Colombia. That will not be the case in the moment, so he’s here,” Klopp said. “When he’s in training, it’s a safe place. When he’s around the matches, it’s a safe place with the team, everything is okay.”
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