Liverpool and Colombian team striker Luis Diaz was finally able to hug his father, kidnapped for 12 days by a guerrilla then released after several days of "anguish", Tuesday ahead of an international meeting. Coming from England, Luis Diaz joined the Colombian national team training camp in Barranquilla on Tuesday and fell, in tears, into the arms of his father, according to images released by the Colombian Football Federation (FCF ).
Aged 56, Luis Manuel Diaz was released Thursday morning in a mountainous area in the north of the country by the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last guerrilla force still active in the country which had kidnapped him on October 28 along with his wife, released a few hours later. Mr. Diaz, an amateur football coach who revealed his son, wore a black T-shirt with the inscription “Never again kidnapping”.
Colombian police announced on Saturday the arrest of four people suspected of having participated in the kidnapping which jeopardized the peace process begun almost a year ago between the ELN and the government, as well as the ceasefire. the six-month bilateral fire in force since August 3. The military commander of the ELN, Antonio Garcia, himself admitted a “mistake”.
In six decades of civil conflict, Colombia has recorded some 38,000 kidnappings, mainly by armed groups who finance their operations with ransom money and drug trafficking, Colombia being the leading producer of cocaine in the world.
Luis Diaz, who will lead the Colombian attack against Brazil on Thursday during the 5th day of South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, joined Liverpool in January 2022 from the Portuguese club Porto for a transfer of amount of 60 million euros. He is the first Colombian native to reach the elite of world football.