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Colombia striker Luis Diaz's father is released from ELN kidnappers after 12 days

It's been 12 days since Luis Manuel Diaz, father of Liverpool striker Luis Diaz was kidnapped by the National Liberation Army (ELN) from Colombia. An armed guerrilla group that has resorted to tactics like this in order to get money and keep funding their operation. Kidnappers had been in contact with the Colombian authorities and kept on their promise of returning 'Mane' Diaz back to his family in the country in order to deescalate tension between ELN and the Colombian Government. 

An entourage formed by the United Nations and the Catholic church were the ones who made the return of 'Mane' Diaz possible. CNN reported that the exchange happened in La Guajira, which is a county close to the border with Venezuela.

Is Luis Manuel Diaz unharmed?

From the early hours of Thursday, members of the mission arrived at Valledupar Airport in Colombia in order to fly to the place where Luis Manuel Diaz was delivered to them. Apart from evident dehydration, ELN did not harm Luis Diaz's father. The Liverpool footballer wrote a message on his X account right before Liverpol's Europa League clash againsst Toulouse on Thursday. Kidnappers boarded Luis Manuel Diaz's vehicle on October 28 as he drove down the streets of Barranca alongside his wife. Initially, the couple was kidnapped but Cilenis Marulanda was released a few hours after the kidnapping due to pressure from the local authorities. An initial first attempt to release Luis Diaz's father failed last Tuesday due to heavy military presence in the region.

Last Friday, Colombian president Gustavo Petro made ELN guerrilla group responsible for Luis Diaz's father's safety. He claimed that this kidnapping did not help in the efforts to reach a peace agreement between ELN and the Colombian Government. The National Liberation Army from Colombia has been in war with the local government and other groups for decades without getting to reach a proper peace settlement. Fortunately, Luis Manuel Diaz is now safe with his family and Liverpool striker Luis Diaz can rest easy. It is currently unknown if a ransom for the father was given to ELN.

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