Luis Diaz’ father breaks his silence after 12 day kidnap ordeal in guerillas’ jungle lair as crowds rush to greet him

Luis Diaz’ father breaks his silence after 12 day kidnap ordeal in guerillas’ jungle lair as crowds rush to greet him

LUIS Díaz’s father has broken his silence after returning home to reunite with friends and family following his kidnap ordeal.

Luis Manuel Díaz Jimenez was kidnapped by ELN guerrillas in Colombia and spent 12 days in their jungle lair before his release.

Díaz thanked his community for their support following his ordeal

APLuis Manuel Díaz waves to neighbors in Barrancas[/caption]

CARACOL NEWSIt comes after his emotional homecoming earlier today[/caption]

SuppliedLiverpool’s Diaz (L) with his mum and dad Luis Manuel[/caption]

Heartwarming footage earlier showed an emotional Díaz reuniting with loved ones after the horrific ordeal.

And in an emotional speech he spoke out about what he had experienced: “First of all, thank God for this second chance, for bringing me back home”.

“I thank Colombia for this great support”, he added, as crowds cheered.

He also thanked his local community for offering support to his family and said: “Thank you all, I love you very much. 

“Very soon I will have the opportunity to greet them and give them a hug. Thank you very much, my people.”

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Barrancas, where Díaz and his wife were abducted on October 28 in anticipation of his return.

Excited members of the community waited with musical instruments and banners in the Díaz’s hometown, in the northern province of La Guajira.

Footage shared online showed neighbours and friends cheering and playing music as a car carrying Díaz made its way through the packed streets.

An emotional Díaz was then greeted by tearful friends and family as they embraced.

The 58-year-old was seen getting out of a chopper today in the border area between La Guajira and Cesar, where he was greeted by a UN rescue committee.

The helicopter was seen at Valledupar airport after it was agreed the ELN would hand Díaz over to the committee somewhere in the Serranía del Perijá.

The release happened after it was agreed a commission from the United Nations and the Catholic Church would liaise with the ELN.

The ace’s dad was seen waving as he exited the jet before he was given a medical check and taken to hospital for a more thorough exam.

Following the news of his dad’s release, Luis Diaz is playing for Liverpool this evening in their Europa League clash against Toulouse.

The Liverpool star remained in training during the ordeal, and came on as a late substitute against Luton last weekend.

The Colombian government announced on Wednesday that the operation to release Luis Mane Diaz had already begun but it was actually today when the Liverpool star’s dad was freed. 

The rebel group had admitted snatching Diaz was a “mistake” and promised to release him as soon as possible last week but it has taken them till today to free him.

A potential reason for the delay could be a suspected war that has broken out between leaders of the Northern War Front over the ransom for Diaz’s release.

Colombian authorities had offered a reward of $200,000,000 Pesos (£40,600) for Diaz’s return.

Luis Manuel Díaz Jimenez was taken hostage at gunpoint alongside his wife on October 28  in Barrancas.

Diaz’s mum was left in the car and saved by police but left-wing ELN fighters dragged the father away following a pursuit.

But he was released today after being held captive for 12 days.

AFPHe was released today after the 12 day ordeal[/caption]

CARACOL NEWSA car carrying Díaz made its way through streets of cheering friends and neighbours as he returned to his hometown of Barrancas[/caption]

ReutersLiverpool ace Diaz is playing against Toulouse this evening[/caption]

AFPThe ELN admitted kidnapping the star’s dad was a mistake[/caption]

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