Luis Díaz, a football player for Liverpool, is a Colombian who has pleaded with his father’s captors to release him right now and “end this painful wait”.
On October 28, Díaz’s parents were taken by left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas in his hometown of Barrancas, holding them both at gunpoint.
His father has not been discovered, but his mother has.
After scoring a goal on Sunday against Luton, Díaz lifted his jersey to expose the Spanish phrase “freedom for papa”. Shortly after the Premier League match in England, Díaz, 26, published a statement stating, “Every second, every minute our anxiety grows.”
“My mother, my brothers and I are desperate, anxious and have no words to describe what we are feeling. This suffering will only end when we have him home with us.”
Díaz also felt grateful to “the Colombians and the international community for the support that’s been received, [and the] many demonstrations of care and solidarity in this difficult moment”.
Hundreds of police and troops have been sent by the Colombian government to liberate Luis Manuel Díaz, the footballer’s father.
CCTV footage from the day of the kidnapping incident shows guys on motorbikes tailing the automobile Díaz’s parents were driving.
The pair had stopped at a gas station in Barrancas, in the northern region of La Guajira, when they were approached by the shooters.
Later, as police were closing in, the kidnappers left Luis Díaz’s mother in a car and pulled his father away. When the police first arrived, they indicated that a criminal group was probably responsible.
However, a government delegation recently stated that it had “official knowledge” that the kidnapping had been executed by “a unit belonging to the ELN”. The mission is presently holding peace negotiations with the rebel group.
According to reports, a group official has stated that Díaz’s father will be released in the next few days.
The only guerrilla organisation still operating in Colombia is the ELN. It boasts an estimated 2,500 members and has been engaged in conflict with the state since 1964. Where Luis Manuel Díaz and his spouse Cilenis Marulanda reside, near the Venezuelan border, is where it is most active.