The father of Luis Díaz, a Colombian soccer star for the English membership Liverpool, was freed on Thursday after he was kidnapped by a guerrilla group, Colombian officers mentioned.
“We report with joy the release of Don Luis Manuel Díaz,” the Colombian authorities’s fee for peace talks mentioned in an announcement on Thursday morning. “We hope that he will soon regain his tranquillity, disturbed by an act that should never have happened.”
It was not instantly clear what was exchanged, if something, for the elder Mr. Díaz’s freedom.
A helicopter with a handful of representatives from an area Catholic church and a United Nations mission in Colombia, together with a medic, picked up Mr. Díaz, 56, in a rural space of Barrancas — which is in La Guajira, a area of northern Colombia — and took him about 55 miles southeast to the town of Valledupar, authorities and rescue officers mentioned.
“He was obviously emotional to be reunited with his family,” Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the particular consultant of the U.N. Secretary-General in Colombia, informed The New York Times. “He needs more in-depth medical analysis after a situation like this, but he looked good in general.”
Both of Mr. Díaz’s mother and father had been kidnapped on Oct. 28 by armed males from a gasoline station of their hometown, Barrancas. His mom, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued hours later, however her husband, Luis Manuel Díaz, remained captive.
The Colombian nationwide police and the navy mobilized to seek out Mr. Díaz amid fears that the abductors may need taken him from Barrancas throughout the border to Venezuela.
Five days later, the National Liberation Army, a guerrilla group, took duty for the kidnapping. The outfit, generally known as the E.L.N., is the biggest remaining insurgent group in Colombia’s 60-year inner battle and operates within the countryside.
In an announcement revealed by native news retailers, José Manuel Martínez Quiroz, who was recognized because the commander of the northern entrance of the E.L.N., mentioned the group had instructions with “economic missions and one of them” took the elder Mr. Díaz, who is named Mane. But it mentioned he could be freed as a result of he was the member of the family of “a great athlete whom all Colombians love.”
Although kidnappings for ransom and extortion in Colombia have resurged in recent times after a lull, E.L.N.’s preliminary assertion didn’t make any calls for in change for the discharge of Mr. Díaz.
Three days later, the E.L.N. blamed the Colombian navy for the delay. In an announcement, the group mentioned on Sunday that it was attempting to keep away from incidents with the Colombian authorities, however that the world remained militarized with flyovers and arriving troops.
The state of affairs, it mentioned, “does not allow the execution of the liberation plan quickly and safely.”
The following day, the navy introduced that it was withdrawing from the area the place Mr. Díaz was believed to be held. But when he had nonetheless not been freed by Tuesday, Otty Patiño, Colombia’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the E.L.N., informed reporters that there was “no excuse” for the delay. He mentioned the guerrilla group had been in touch with the United Nations and Roman Catholic Church.
The kidnapping captured the eye of a rustic of almost 52 million not simply because soccer is the preferred sport there, but in addition as a result of it stoked issues about rising insecurity and whether or not the federal government was doing sufficient to cease it. In public pleas and in marches in Mr. Díaz’s hometown, Colombians referred to as for his father’s launch.
The Colombian authorities, below President Gustavo Petro, had been negotiating a peace treaty with the E.L.N., and a six-month cease-fire was to start in August. But after the elder Mr. Díaz was kidnapped, Mr. Petro mentioned that the E.L.N. had dedicated an act that “goes against the very peace process.”
After Mr. Díaz was freed, the Colombian peace fee negotiating with the E.L.N. mentioned that the latest kidnapping had “plunged our talks into a critical situation” and referred to as for all different individuals held captive to be freed instantly.
The E.L.N.’s high commander, Eliécer Herlinto Chamorro, identified by his nom de guerre, Antonio García, mentioned final week in an announcement, based on native reviews, that the elder Mr. Díaz’s kidnapping had been “an error” and referred to as his son, 26, an emblem for Colombia.
The youthful Mr. Díaz, who is named Lucho, has shone for his nation’s nationwide workforce. He rose from taking part in for his native Indigenous workforce to bigger golf equipment in Colombia, finally touchdown at Liverpool with a contract reportedly value greater than $60 million. Mr. Díaz’s father was a gifted novice participant in Barrancas and skilled his son.
The Liverpool participant sat out the primary recreation after his father’s kidnapping however returned to motion on Sunday. After scoring a late game-tying purpose in a 1-1 draw in opposition to Luton, he pulled up his jersey to disclose an undershirt that learn, “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.
After the sport, he pleaded for his father’s launch.
“Every second, every minute, our distress grows,” he wrote in an announcement. “My mother, my brothers and I are desperate, anguished and without words to describe what we’re feeling. This suffering will only end when we have him back home.”
On Thursday, Mr. Díaz acquired his want.