Colombia Detains Four In Kidnapping Of Luis Diaz’s Father

Colombian authorities captured four persons on suspicion of kidnapping the father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz, who was kept prisoner by members of the ELN guerilla group for about two weeks, officials said Saturday.

On Thursday, Luis Manuel Diaz was released. He was kidnapped by armed guys on motorcycles near the Venezuelan border at a gas station in the town of Barrancas.

The ELN, which is in peace talks with the government and signed a six-month truce in August, called the kidnapping by one of its soldiers a “mistake.”

“We have detained four people allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of Luis Manuel Diaz,” the National Police of Colombia said in a statement on social media platform X.

According to authorities, the suspects were apprehended in the northern district of La Guajira, where the kidnapping occurred. They were carrying two weapons.

The suspects’ names were not released by the authorities, but they were members of a criminal organization known as Los Primos. They did not explain how the gang was linked to ELN.

On October 28, the elder Diaz’s wife Cilenis Marulanda was kidnapped along with him, but she was recovered hours later.

Luis Manuel Diaz was the creator and amateur coach of Barrancas’ only football academy, where his son showed promise from an early age.

Diaz Sr., known locally as “Mane,” is credited with assisting the Liverpool and Colombia striker’s stratospheric rise.

On Friday he said he had been held by two different groups during the kidnapping.

“I felt a change after three days, when it seemed that I was already in the hands of the ELN. They spoke to me differently and treated me differently,” he told reporters.

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