- Authorities in Colombia are still searching for Luis Diaz's father, Luis Manuel
- Reports have suggested that his father could be released in the next few hours
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Luis Manuel Diaz was seized at gunpoint alongside his wife on Saturday evening.
A large manhunt has been ongoing since and local authorities have put the blame on Colombia’s last remaining rebel group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), which translates as the National Liberation Army. Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was left in a car by kidnappers as police closed in, but the gunmen dragged away his father.
ELN representative Juan Carlos Carlos Cuellar told a community meeting that he will be 'released as soon as possible'.
Reports in Colombia have suggested that Luis Diaz's (left) father Luis Manuel (right) could be released in the next few hours
Colombian police have been searching for Diaz's father who was seized at gunpoint on Saturday
The Liverpool star's mother (above in 2019, left centre) has been rescued after the pair were snatched off the streets of Colombia last week, but his father's whereabouts are still unknown
Semana claim that members of the ELN's peace delegation were unaware of the guerrillas' responsibility of the kidnapping and had only learned of the information a few hours prior to speaking to the press.
However, there has been some cynicism in Colombia around claims he could be released, as the police chief overseeing the mission has yet to give an update on the latest development.
Police had voiced concerns that Diaz's father have been smuggled over Colombia’s north-eastern border into Venezuela through dense jungle.
A statement on Thursday, signed by the leader of the Colombian government’s Peace Delegation negotiation team Otty Patino, read: ‘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.’
ELN were founded in 1964 by radical Catholics inspired by Cuba’s Communist revolution and has been behind multiple kidnappings in Colombia.
It was behind a car bombing at a Bogota police academy in 2019 which killed 21 people and injured another 68.
Diaz's mother (centre) led a community march demanding her husband's release on Tuesday
Diaz was not involved in Liverpool's victories over Nottingham Forest or Bournemouth
Peace talks have been going on between the ELN and the Colombian government since March 2020, when the guerrilla group declared a unilateral ceasefire during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Liverpool forward Diaz, 26, has remained in England after learning of the events on Saturday night.
He was not involved in Sunday’s win over Nottingham Forest or Wednesday’s Carabao Cup victory against Bournemouth.
Reports in Colombia suggested he was talked out of returning to his homeland for ‘security reasons’.
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