BOGOTÁ (AP).— With the demand that the guerrilla of the National Liberation Army (ELN) release the father of the Colombian player Luis Díaz, kidnapped a week ago in the Colombian town of Barrancas, dozens of residents carried out on Sunday the 5th in November a demonstration calling for his early release.
The Liverpool footballer from England joined the call.
In a statement that he posted on his
“Every second, every minute our anguish grows,” said the Colombian national team player. He admitted having no words to describe the suffering that will only end when his father is back home.
The footballer also asked international organizations to intercede to obtain his freedom.
The Liverpool striker scored a goal on Sunday in the Premier League match against Luton, after which he left the message: “Freedom for dad” read on his shirt.
Earlier from Barrancas, the mother of the player Cilenis Marulanda implored for the release of her husband during the demonstration in that Colombian town.
“The bad people who have it in their possession, let them release it to me now, because we want to have it in our home,” said the visibly affected mother.
Marulanda was kidnapped along with Díaz by armed individuals on motorcycles. Although she was free a few hours later, her husband remains held by men from the Northern War Front of the National Liberation Army (ELN), according to the guerrilla itself.
On Saturday, November 4, the top leader of the armed group, alias Antonio García, assured in a message sent by a journalists’ chat that the kidnapping of Manuel Díaz was “a mistake” and that the command has instructed the unit to release him. , although he has not given any clues as to when and how it will come to fruition.
Carrying photographs of “Professor Mane,” as they call the player’s father who also runs a soccer school in Barrancas, wearing white clothing and shouting “freedom, freedom, freedom,” the residents gathered outside the house. the coach’s parents.
There were speeches, prayers and music.
“Enough of the kidnappings in Colombia, because it is time to all live in peace,” Edilson Zurita sang to the tune of vallenato, in a composition he made for his friend “Mane Díaz.”
“We ask the government to intercede so that he is released (…) he is already suffering from so much mistreatment of the civilian population,” Antonio Solano, a friend of the family, told the press, while the secretary of the municipal government of Barrancas, Carlos Peralta, He reaffirmed that “the message is quite clear and it is liberation now.”
Meanwhile, the Colombian media highlighted on Sunday Liverpool’s call to Luis Díaz as a substitute in the Premier League match in which they faced Luton Town.
The kidnapping of Díaz’s father has had a negative impact, according to analysts, on the peace negotiations between the government of Gustavo Petro and the ELN, which between August 2023 and January 2024 agreed to a ceasefire.