The National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla announced that it will begin the process of releasing the father of Colombian soccer player Luis Díaz, by admitting that it had him in its possession and that the retention had economic reasons.
“The Northern War Front has commands with economic missions and one of them carried out a deprivation of liberty, which when reported and verified to be Lucho Díaz’s father, his release is directed because he is a relative of the
great athlete that all Colombians love,” said the ELN in a statement released last night on social networks and reproduced by the Italian news agency ANSA.
“From now on your liberation process begins and we want to avoid any incident,” added the rebels’ message without specifying the date and place of the liberation, and without offering an apology or expressing regret for their action.
Luis Manuel Díaz, father of the English Liverpool and Colombian National Team player Luis Díaz, was kidnapped the previous Saturday in Barrancas, northern department of La Guajira, along with his wife Cilenis Marulanda, released that same day.
The Government had more than 250 men from the military and police forces to carry out the search for the athlete’s father.
The action moved to the political scene because the Government complained to the ELN that the kidnapping took place in the middle of peace talks and a ceasefire pact.
The Government of Gustavo Petro yesterday took Díaz’s release for granted, but clarified that “they are not negotiating” with the organization, but rather waiting for them to comply with that step.
“The actions that the ELN spokespersons at the negotiating table have pointed out indicate that he will be released. It is evident that if there is an agreement to receive the player’s father, a safe area will have to be agreed upon to allow him to be received,” said the minister. of the Interior, Luis Fernando Velasco.
Last Thursday, the Executive pointed out the ELN as responsible for the kidnapping, and Velasco himself said that the event made the talks “wobble.”
“I have to express my deepest rejection not only for having kidnapped Luis’s father, but also because in the development of events (the ELN) has not been able to free him,” declared President Petro.
“As time passes, the circumstances in which Mr. Díaz finds himself become very dangerous. (…) in the face of rebuilding trust and the possibilities of peace in Colombia. (The ELN) has to make an immediate and profound effort to free Mr. Díaz,” the president explained.