Colombia’s President Santos receives Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize

President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his work to negotiate a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group.

President Juan Manuel Santos arrives in Cartagena for the signing of the peace accord with the FARC.
President Juan Manuel Santos arrives in Cartagena for the signing of the peace accord with the FARC in September. (Photo Presidencia de la República)

Those talks, carried out in Havana, Cuba, have been ongoing for four years, ending in a final agreement in August.

Colombian voters narrowly rejected the accords in a plebiscite vote on Sunday, however. It remains to be seen if peace negotiations can be salvaged in the wake of the “No” vote.

Earlier this week, Santos met with former presidents and other figures key of the “No” campaign to discuss a way forward.

He had been considered a strong contender for the prize before Sunday’s setback, but some wondered what the public’s rejection of the accords would do for Santos’ chances at a Nobel.

Colombia’s president was among more than 300 other candidates from around the world to be considered for the honor.

“By awarding this year’s Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation and justice in Colombia,” said Nobel Committee chair Kaci Kullmann Five in a statement.

“The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people,” she said.

Santos released a statement early Friday morning as well.

“I am thankful infinitely and from the bottom of my heart for this honor,” he said. “I receive it not in my own name but in the name of all Colombians, especially the millions of victims this conflict has left and who have suffered over the past 50 years.”

“Colombians, this is your prize.”


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