The 13-day ordeal in the jungles of La Guajira, Serrania del Perija, ended with a successful retrieval operation supported by the United Nations.
The involvement of the United Nations was crucial in this operation, given their role as guarantors in the peace negotiation with the ELN (The National Liberation Army) guerrilla, the group responsible for the kidnapping.
The Catholic Church also played a pivotal role in securing Diaz’s release. The release took place in the village of El Salado, located south of La Guajira.
He received immediate first aid upon release, and they confirmed that he was of sound mind. The UN received him at the release point, acting in a primary role.
Diaz landed at the Valledupar airport around 11.00 am, ending the anxious wait for his loved ones.
The Colombian Football Federation confirmed the release, stating (via their official website), “The Colombian Football Federation thanks the national government, the military forces and the national police, as well as all the institutions and officials that made the release of Luis Manuel Diaz, father of our player Luis Diaz, possible.”
However, with the successful release, there is finally relief for the family, who endured this harrowing experience for nearly two weeks.
Diaz had missed Liverpool’s last two matches against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth as he dealt with the ordeal before returning to score a crucial equaliser against Luton Town on Sunday.
An emotional Diaz unveiled a shirt asking for his father’s release and will be relieved to see his wishes come true.
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