The release of Luis Díaz’s father is being delayed due to military action, according to a rebel group.

The group of rebels currently holding Luis Díaz’s father has stated that the ongoing military operations in the surrounding area are not only causing a delay in the release of their hostage, but also putting him in danger. Díaz’s parents were abducted over a week ago, and while his mother was freed promptly, the National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) has promised to speed up the return of Díaz Sr, but the process is taking longer than anticipated.

“According to a statement signed by unit leader Commander Jose Manuel Martinez Quiroz, we announced on November 2nd that Mr. Luis Manuel Díaz, father of player Luis Díaz, would be released.”

“Starting from that day, we initiated steps to achieve this goal as quickly as we can. We are working hard to prevent any conflicts with the government’s armed forces. The region is currently under military control, with frequent flyovers, troops being deployed, and announcements being made as part of a rigorous search operation.”

This scenario does not currently permit for the timely and secure implementation of the release plan, with the safety of Mr. Luis Manuel Díaz being a concern. If operations persist in the vicinity, it will impede the release process and pose greater risks.

“We empathize with the Díaz-Marulanda family and assure them that we will uphold our promise to unilaterally release their family member, once we have received adequate security assurances for the successful execution of the liberation operation.”

Díaz passionately appealed for his father to be released after subbing in and scoring a last-minute goal for Liverpool against Luton on Sunday. He then revealed a message on his shirt that read “Libertad para Papa” (“Freedom for Dad”).

The player, who had not played since the abductions, later shared on Instagram: “I urge the ELN to release my father quickly, and I implore international organizations to collaborate in securing his freedom.”

Our pain intensifies with each passing second and minute. My mother, brothers, and I are overwhelmed, anguished, and unable to articulate the depth of our emotions. The only resolution to our agony is the safe return of our loved one.

Bypass the newsletter advertisement.

Please release him immediately, while showing respect for his integrity and putting an end to this painful waiting period as soon as possible. We plead with you to reconsider your actions and grant us the opportunity to retrieve him, out of love and compassion.

I express my gratitude to Colombians and the global community for their support. I am grateful for the numerous displays of love and unity during this challenging time that many families in my country are currently facing.