It has been almost a week since the parents of Liverpool’s Luis Diaz were kidnapped in their hometown of Barrancas, Colombia. Cilenis Marulanda, Diaz’s mother, was safely recovered shortly after the kidnapping took place by armed men on motorcycles at a gas station. Luis Manuel Diaz, Luis Diaz’s father, is still missing as of this time. While the search for the elder Diaz continues, more details are coming to light.
The Colombian government, who have been involved in the search, have today verified the National Liberation Army (ELN) as the perpetrators of the crime. Government officials are reportedly negotiating with ELN. Otty Patiño, who leads the government delegation, released a statement demanding the safe release of Luis Manuel Diaz.
“We remind the ELN that kidnapping is a criminal act, a violation of the International Humanitarian Law, and it is their responsibility, as part of the ongoing peace process, to not only stop doing so, but to eradicate it forever.”
“We demand that the ELN releases immediately Mr. Luis Manuel Díaz and we say as of now that they are entirely responsible to secure his life and integrity”.
While government officials are at the table with ELN in negotiations, it was noted that the kidnapping was done by a unit that belongs to ELN. It is unclear at this time if the unit was acting on their own, as well as if the kidnapping was targeted or a crime of opportunity.
Let’s hope that Luis Manuel Diaz is returned safe and sound in short order.