The group that kidnapped the father of Liverpool star Luis Diaz, the National Liberation Army (ELN), are in the process of releasing him.
It has been a week since the kidnapping of Luis Manuel Diaz and his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, who was released hours later, by a group of armed men on motorcycles.
The Colombian authorities offered a 200 million peso (£40,000/$49,000) reward for information about the case and a man was arrested days later for his suspected involvement.
The Colombian government announced on Thursday that the ELN was behind the capture, and the group quickly stated that the player’s father would soon be released.
A statement put out by the ELN read, according to El Colombiano: “We are in solidarity with the families who experience pain and tragedies due to unemployment, the criminal violence of paramilitarism and the abandonment of the State. The corruption of political clans is the main threat to the stability of the region.
“The Northern War Front has commands with economic missions and one of them carries out a privation of freedom, which, after being reported and verified that it is the father of Lucho Diaz, is guided by his release because he is a family member of the great sportsman that we all love as Colombians.
“From that moment on, the release process begins and we want to avoid any incident. Firm in the search for the paths of peace, with the necessary transformations that the country needs.”
A leader of the group, Antonio Garcia, has also given a statement saying that there was no intention of targeting family members of Luis Diaz.
“The retention of Luis Díaz’s father by the Guerra Norte front was a mistake,” he said via Telegram, according to El Colombiano. “Luis is a symbol of Colombia and we feel him as such in the ELN. We hope that the operational situations on the ground can be resolved, this is the direction that the commanders have to expedite the liberation.”
Luis Diaz has not featured for Liverpool since the kidnapping, having missed the matches against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth. Coach Jurgen Klopp said this week that it is up to the player whether or not he is included in the team for the match against Luton on Sunday.
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