The daddy of Luis Díaz, a Colombian soccer star for the English membership Liverpool, was freed on Thursday after he was kidnapped by a guerrilla group, the Colombian authorities stated.
It was not instantly clear what was exchanged, if something, for the elder Mr. Díaz’s freedom.
Each of Mr. Díaz’s dad and mom had been kidnapped on Oct. 28 by armed males from a gasoline station of their hometown, Barrancas, Colombia. His mom, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued hours later, however her husband, Luis Manuel Díaz, remained captive.
The Colombian nationwide police and the navy mobilized to seek out Mr. Díaz amid fears that the abductors might need taken him from Barrancas, which is in La Guajira, a area of northern Colombian, throughout the border to Venezuela.
5 days later, the Nationwide Liberation Military, a guerrilla group, took accountability for the kidnapping. The outfit, often called the E.L.N., is the biggest remaining insurgent group in Colombia’s 60-year inner battle and operates within the countryside.
In an announcement printed by local news outlets, José Manuel Martínez Quiroz, who was recognized because the commander of the northern entrance of the E.L.N., stated the group had instructions with “financial missions and one in every of them” took the elder Mr. Díaz, who is called Mane. But it surely stated he could be freed as a result of he was the member of the family of “an awesome athlete whom all Colombians love.”
Though kidnappings for ransom and extortion in Colombia have resurged in recent times after a lull, E.L.N.’s preliminary assertion didn’t make any calls for in alternate for the discharge of Mr. Díaz.
Three days later, the E.L.N. blamed the Colombian navy for the delay. In a statement, the group stated on Sunday that it was attempting to keep away from incidents with the Colombian authorities however that the world remained militarized with flyovers and arriving troops. The state of affairs, it stated, “doesn’t permit the execution of the liberation plan rapidly and safely.”
The next day, the military announced that it was withdrawing from the area the place Mr. Díaz, who native information stories say is 56, was believed to be held. However when he had nonetheless not been freed by Tuesday, Otty Patiño, Colombia’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the E.L.N., told reporters that there was “no excuse” for the delay. He stated the guerrilla group had been in touch with the United Nations and Roman Catholic Church.
The kidnapping captured the eye of a rustic of almost 52 million not simply because soccer is the preferred sport there, but additionally as a result of it stoked considerations about growing insecurity and whether or not the federal government was doing sufficient to cease it. In public pleas and in marches in Mr. Díaz’s hometown, Colombians known as for his father’s launch.
The Colombian authorities, underneath President Gustavo Petro, had been negotiating a peace treaty with the E.L.N., and a six-month cease-fire was to start in August. However after the elder Mr. Díaz was kidnapped, Mr. Petro said that the E.L.N. had dedicated an act that “goes towards the very peace course of.”
The E.L.N.’s prime commander, Eliécer Herlinto Chamorro, identified by his nom de guerre, Antonio García, stated in a press release, in line with local reports, that the elder Mr. Díaz’s kidnapping had been “an error” and known as his son, 26, an emblem for Colombia.
The youthful Mr. Díaz, who is called Lucho, has shone for his nation’s nationwide staff. He rose from taking part in for his native Indigenous staff to bigger golf equipment in Colombia, ultimately touchdown at Liverpool with a contract value greater than a reported $60 million. Mr. Díaz’s father was a gifted novice participant in Barrancas and educated his son.
The Liverpool participant sat out the primary recreation after his father’s kidnapping however returned to motion on Sunday. After scoring a late game-tying aim in a 1-1 draw towards Luton, he pulled up his jersey to disclose an undershirt that learn, “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.
After the sport, he pleaded for his father’s launch.
“Each second, each minute, our misery grows,” he wrote in a statement. “My mom, my brothers and I are determined, anguished and with out phrases to explain what we’re feeling. This struggling will solely finish when now we have him again residence.”