The father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz has been freed by his captors in Colombia – nearly two weeks after being kidnapped.
Luis Manuel Diaz was launched by guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), in keeping with the Colombian FA.
Local TV channels confirmed him at an airstrip after touchdown in a helicopter – and pictures of his members of the family crying with happiness.
Diaz’s dad and mom had been kidnapped by armed males on bikes at a petroleum station within the city of Barrancas, close to Colombia’s border with Venezuela on 28 October.
The 26-year-old footballer’s mom, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued inside hours by police after roadblocks had been arrange.
Special forces had been deployed to seek for Mr Diaz – with air and land patrols trawling a mountain vary that straddles each Colombia and Venezuela.
Officials stated they may not rule out the chance that he had been smuggled over the border – that means he would have been out of attain of Colombian police.
A reward of $48,000 (£39,000) had been supplied for data main police to the hostage.
The Liverpool winger had pleaded together with his father’s captors to launch him – and stated he and his brothers had been in a “desperate” state of affairs.
The ELN had given hope to the footballer, his household and people linked to Liverpool FC after they stated the kidnapping was a mistake and had ordered his launch.
On Sunday, the guerrilla group stated these plans had been stifled by army deployments within the north of Colombia, and it couldn’t assure his security in these situations.
A day later, the Colombian army stated that it was shifting its positions to facilitate a launch.
Kidnapping ‘ought to by no means have occurred’
Those negotiating peace talks with the ELN celebrated Mr Diaz’s freedom – however made it clear the kidnapping “should never have happened”.
All folks being held by the ELN should be liberated, the assertion added, although it didn’t give a determine for the remaining hostages.
The Colombian FA thanked the federal government, the army, authorities and everybody concerned in securing Mr Diaz’s launch, including: “Behind a ball, the dreams and illusions of boys and girls, young people, women, men and adult soccer players, their loved ones and an entire country roll.
“Football is ardour in peace. Let nobody ever consider attacking that actuality once more.”
Colombian President Gustavo Petro added: “Long stay freedom and peace.”
Diaz got here off the bench to save lots of Liverpool from a shock defeat at Luton on Sunday, claiming a stoppage-time equaliser to grab a 1-1 draw.
He lifted his shirt in celebration to disclose a message on a white T-shirt that learn “libertad para papa” or “freedom for my father”.
The kidnapping of Diaz’s father disrupted the Colombian authorities’s peace talks with the ELN, which restarted final yr in hopes of ending a 60-year battle that has killed at the very least 450,000 folks.