Luis Diaz’s father is set to be released by his kidnappers after he was verified as a family member of the Liverpool player, Colombian terrorist group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) has confirmed in a statement.

Diaz’s father, Luis Manuel Diaz, and mother, Cilenis Marulanda, were abducted at gun-point on Saturday by the left-wing guerrilla group.

The pair were, according to local reports, abducted from the town of Barrancas in La Guajira, Colombia before they fled the scene. 

The left-wing ELN insurgent group, branded a terrorist organization by the US government and EU, was identified on Thursday as the group responsible for Luis Manuel’s abduction.

The ELN, which is currently holding peace talks with the government after declaring a ceasefire in its long-standing war against the Colombian state, had promised to secure 58-year-old Mr Diaz’s release in a matter of hours on Thursday after being identified as the culprits. 

Luis Diaz’s father is set to be released by his kidnappers after he was verified as a family member of the Liverpool player, Colombian terrorist group ELN has confirmed in a statement 

The Liverpool star’s mother (above in 2019, left centre) was rescued after the pair were snatched off the streets of Colombia last week, but his father’s whereabouts are still unknown

Terrorist group ELN has now confirmed in a statement that the process to release Diaz’s father has started 

And despite a brief pause which Colombian President Gustavo Petro described as ‘very dangerous’, the ELN has revealed the process to release Luis Manuel has now started.

‘We salute Colombia and the Caribbean,’ the group said in a statement released 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 priest 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. From the Caribbean.’ 

On Sunday, it emerged that Diaz’s mother had been rescued after she was left in a car by the guerrilla group, as members of ELN dragged his father away. 

She made her first appearance since the kidnapping earlier this week, demanding that the abductors release her partner safely before leading hundreds on a march in their home town. 

Diaz (left) was pictured in training for Liverpool on Friday amid the ongoing situation 

The Liverpool forward also broke his silence on social media earlier in the week, urging members of the public to march in solidarity to demand the release of his father. 

On Thursday, it was confirmed by the Colombian authorities that the ELN were behind the abduction, with Otty Patino, leader of the Colombian government’s Peace Delegation, stating: ‘Today we have had official knowledge that the kidnapping was perpetrated by a unit belonging to the ELN.

‘To the ELN, we demand the immediate release of Mr Luis Manuel Diaz and we remind them that it is their responsibility to guarantee his life and integrity. 

‘We remind the ELN that kidnapping is a criminal practice, in violation of International Humanitarian Law.’

The director general of Colombia’s National Police force, William Rene Salamanca Ramirez, had also directly issued a statement to the Liverpool star stating that the authorities were utilising resources on land, sea and in the air to safely recover his father.  

While officials have continued to search for Diaz’s father, a reward of 200 million Colombian pesos (£40,000) is being offered in return for information on his location. 

Luis Diaz

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