English and Colombian national team star Luis Diaz met his father, Luis Manuel, on Tuesday for the first time since the latter was released last week, following a 12-day ordeal of kidnapping by the National Liberation Army factions.
The “emotional” reunion between Diaz and his father took place after the former returned to his country to join the national team ahead of their anticipated match against Brazil on Thursday in Barranquilla as part of the South American World Cup qualifiers.
The father and son embraced, shedding tears, as shown in the photos distributed by the Colombian Football Federation.
Luis Manuel (56 years old) wore a black shirt with the inscription “No More Kidnapping.”
The federation wrote on its official website: “After 12 days of being deprived of freedom, this is the player’s first contact with his father and the rest of the family who lived through long moments of pain,” accompanied by a picture of the father, son, and the daughter of the Liverpool star on her grandfather’s lap.
Armed men on motorcycles kidnapped Luis Manuel and his wife Celenis Marulanda at a gas station in their hometown of Barrancas near the Venezuelan border on October 28.
Marulanda was rescued after hours, and a wide-ranging ground and air search operation began to find her husband.
Later, the military commander of the National Liberation Army, Antonio Garcia, admitted to making a “mistake” in this kidnapping operation.
The kidnapping affected the peace process that began about a year ago between the National Liberation Army and President Petro’s government, as well as the cessation of the bilateral ceasefire that lasted for six months, starting on August 3.
Later, after his release, the father of the Liverpool star told journalists at his home in Barrancas how he was forced to walk “a lot” with little sleep at the hands of his captors.
The police said they arrested four suspects in the crime.