Luis Diaz’s Father Kidnappers Seek Security Guarantees from Colombian Government To Release Him Safely:
The leftist guerrilla group ELN in Colombia kidnapped the father of Liverpool footballer Luis Diaz nine days ago. The organisation has continued to pursue peace negotiations with the Colombian government and has promised to free the father of the Liverpool player unharmed, but they have not yet done so.
In a new statement, ELN commander Jose Manuel Martinez Quiroz said the group wants security assurances from the Colombian government in order to safely carry out the release. He said ongoing military operations in the area are delaying and complicating the release plan.
“Libertad para papa” … Freedom for my father.
Luis Diaz’s shirt after scoring in the closing minutes for Liverpool ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xw6zt1Ln25
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 5, 2023
But let’s understand what are the ELN Group?
The National Liberation Army (ELN) is a Colombian armed guerrilla group founded in 1964. It is the country’s last remaining active rebel group and is estimated to have between 2,000 and 5,000 fighters. The ELN’s ideology is a mix of Marxism-Leninism and liberation theology.
The ELN has a long history of violence, including attacks on civilians and government forces. In 2002, the ELN bombed a nightclub in Bogotá, killing 36 people. The group has also been accused of kidnapping and assassinating politicians, journalists, and human rights activists.
The Colombian government has been trying to defeat the ELN for decades, but the group has proven to be resilient.
In 2017, the Colombian government and the ELN began peace talks, but the talks have been suspended several times due to violence. In August 2023, the Colombian government and the ELN agreed to a six-month ceasefire. It is unclear if the ceasefire will lead to a lasting peace agreement.
The ELN is a major source of instability in Colombia and its continued existence is a threat to the country’s peace and security. The Colombian government and the ELN must continue to work towards a lasting peace agreement, but this will be a difficult and challenging process.
⚽️| The hug from Jurgen Klopp, Luis Díaz’s teammates and rivals at the end of the match. Football being more than football. pic.twitter.com/UJucKlm0vX
— MAHR X (@MessiasAHG) November 5, 2023
What Commander Martinez Quiroz Said?
Quiroz reiterated that ELN intends to honor its commitment to unilaterally release Diaz’s father once security guarantees are in place. He acknowledged the anguish of the Diaz family and assured them the group will keep its word.
After scoring for Liverpool, Diaz made an emotional appeal for his father’s release, lifting his shirt to reveal a plea for his freedom. ELN claims it began the release process after announcing its decision on November 2, but military activity has prevented quick and safe execution. The group warns further delays may occur without suspension of security operations.