The Colombian government has urged the ELN guerrilla group to release the kidnapped father of Liverpool winger Luis Díaz, with its chief negotiator in broader peace talks, Otty Patiño, stating on Tuesday that there are no more excuses for his continued abduction.
This comes as the military has repositioned troops that were on the ground close to the border with Venezuela to search for Luis Manuel Díaz in the town of Barrancas, leaving that area free of any offensive operation and fulfilling the demanded security guarantees for the potential handover of the hostage.
Though more than a week has passed since the rebel group announced their intent to unilaterally release Luis Manuel Díaz, the presence of government forces in the local area has delayed the plan due to increased risks to his safety. He will be promptly released when the situation allows.
It's certain that ELN leaders have expressed their willingness to release Luis Díaz's father as soon as possible, but their deeds must match their words. As time passes and his abduction persists, the situation becomes increasingly precarious for Luis Manuel Díaz. Additionally, the rebels must recognize that their actions have breached the ongoing peace process.