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After twelve days: father of Liverpool professional Díaz released by hostage takers

Football After twelve days

Father of Liverpool professional Díaz released by hostage takers

Status: 09.11.2023 | Reading time: 2 minutes

Luis Díaz had to fear for his father’s life for almost two weeks

What: Action Images via Reuters

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Professional footballer Luis Díaz from Liverpool FC can breathe a sigh of relief. The kidnapping of his father by rebels ended after almost two weeks. The Colombian military plays a crucial role in the release.

The kidnapped father of Colombian national soccer player Luis Díaz has been released after almost two weeks. He was taken in a helicopter to Valledupar airport in Cesar department, as seen on Caracol television on Thursday. According to media reports, the liberation process took place under the leadership of the Catholic Church and a UN commission.

“We are pleased with the news of the safe return of Luis Díaz’s father and thank everyone involved in his release,” Liverpool FC wrote on X (formerly Twitter). The player’s current club also shared the message from the Colombian national team, which also thanked the national government, the armed forces and the police, among others.

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro recently called on the left-wing guerrilla organization ELN for the father’s immediate release. The professional from English Premier League club Liverpool FC himself also addressed the kidnappers directly after scoring a goal in a game with the inscription “Freedom for Dad” on his T-shirt and a moving statement afterwards.

Luis Manuel Díaz and his wife were abducted by a rebel group unit on October 28 in the Guajira department in the northeast of the country. While the Liverpool professional’s mother was rescued shortly afterwards, his father was still in the hands of the guerrillas.

Military withdraws from rebel territory

Recently there had been repeated possible signs of an impending release, but this was repeatedly delayed. The rebels had accused the South American country’s armed forces of endangering the handover with their strong presence in the region.

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When hostages are released in Colombia, it is common for the military to withdraw from a certain area to enable the handover of those abducted and to prevent armed clashes. According to media reports, the military then withdrew from the area.

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