- Reports suggested that Luis Diaz’s father could be freed by the abductors
- Colombia’s President has said the kidnappers have ‘not been able to free him’
- Big debates on Liverpool, Man United and Arsenal on It’s All Kicking Off podcast
The left-wing ELN insurgent group, branded a terrorist organisation by the US government and EU, was identified on Thursday as the organisation responsible for Luis Manuel Diaz’s abduction.
A female guerrilla fighter known only by her alias of Patricia who heads an ELN regional unit called the Northern War Front orchestrated the crime, Colombian media reported earlier on Friday.
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 after being identified as the culprits.
Speaking from Washington during an official visit to the US, Mr Petro said: ‘The ELN’s authorship means the ELN today is responsible for the life of the father of Luis Diaz.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro has stated kidnappers have failed to fulfil their promise to release Luis Diaz’s father
Reports in Colombia had suggested that Diaz’s (left) father Luis Manuel (right) could be released in the next few hours
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
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‘It has committed an act that contravenes the peace process.
‘I have to express my most profound rejection, not only for having kidnapped Luis’ dad, but because in the ensuing developments, they have not been able to free him.
‘There is an expressed wish on the part of the ELN leaders to free him as soon as possible.
‘But the hours are passing, and as this goes on in time, the situation in which Mr Diaz is in becomes very dangerous.
Mr Petro revealed on Thursday that he had spoken to the Liverpool player personally to reassure him about the government’s efforts to free his dad.
The footballer spoke to the director of Colombia’s National Police force shortly after his father was kidnapped on Saturday from his home town of Barrancas.
Members of the Colombian army have been searching members of the public at checkpoints in Barrancas, La Guajira, following the kidnapping
The director of Colombia’s National Police force had also spoken to Diaz to state that every effort was being made to find his father
Colombian police have been searching for Diaz’s father who was seized at gunpoint on Saturday
Operations on land, air and sea have been underway following the abduction last weekend
Luis Diaz’s mother Cilenis Marulanda (centre) led a community march demanding the release of her husband, Luis Manuel Diaz, on Tuesday
Hundreds of members of the local community joined forces dressed in white holding balloons
Diaz (left) was pictured in training for Liverpool on Friday amid the ongoing situation
The director general of Colombia’s National Police force, William Rene Salamanca Ramirez told the anguished striker every effort was being made to find the missing 58-year-old.
On Thursday evening, after the Colombian government confirmed the ELN was behind the kidnap, Mr Petro confirmed he had spoken to the footballer.
He said on his official Twitter site: ‘We have spoken with Luis Diaz yesterday. We are working for the liberation of his father.’
Luis Diaz’s mum Cilenis Marulanda was also kidnapped on Saturday, but was abandoned by her captors hours later as the police and army hunt to catch those responsible intensified.