Luis Diaz has released a statement pleading with the ELN – Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional, National Liberation Army – to release his father following his abduction.
Both of Diaz’s parents were kidnapped by armed gunmen in Colombia recently, with his mother, Cilenis Marulanda being rescued last weekend.
Diaz’s father, however, is yet to be found by Colombian authorities who confirmed on Friday that they had intelligence which stated that “a unit belonging to the ELN” – a left-wing rebel group that’s been active in the country since 1964 – are the culprits behind the kidnapping.
ELN representative Juan Carlos Cuellar has announced that Diaz’s father would be freed “as soon as possible” in a community meeting relayed by Reuters.
Following his return to action for Liverpool, and after scoring a goal which he dedicated to his father with an undershirt message which read “Freedom for Papa”, Diaz has released a statement pleading with the ELN to grant freedom to his father:
“Here’s not the player speaking. Today’s Lucho Diaz, the son of Luis Manuel Diaz. Mane, my dad, hard working man, family pillar…he’s now kidnapped.
“I ask ELN to release my father as soon as possible. I also ask the international associations to work on that in order to guarantee his freedom.
“Every second, every minute we’re more worried. We’ve no words to describe our family’s terrible feelings, and it will be the same as long as he’s not back at home.
“I beg you to release my father right now, respecting his integrity.
“I want to thank to all Colombians and also the international community for your support.”
Diaz scored a crucial 95th minute equaliser on his return for Liverpool, heading home a Harvey Elliott cross at the back post to salvage a point from a tricky trip to Kenilworth Road for the Reds.
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