Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Receives 2016 Nobel Peace Prize


By Staff


juan-santosColombian President Juan Manuel Santos has received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end his country’s long-running civil war with FARC rebels.

The Nobel Prize committee awarded Santos the prize Oct. 7, following Santos’ attempt to negotiate a peace deal with the former guerrilla group, which Colombians narrowly rejected in a vote earlier this week.

According to the committee, Santos’ attempt to negotiate the deal represented the president’s “resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.”

“The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process,” the committee stated.
Following his receipt of the award, Santos said in a statement, via Twitter, “This honourable distinction is not for me, it’s for all the victims of the conflict. Together we’ll win the most important award of them all: peace.”
Santos’ administration has worked four years to negotiate a deal with FARC, a rebel group that tried to use force to redistribute wealth in the country.
He said he hoped the deal would end the 50 years of war.
The deal was rejected by 50.2 percent of voters, who said they were in favor of more punishment for the rebels, on Oct. 2.
According to Santos, the ceasefire signed between the government and FARC rebels will expire at the end of October, and he has created a three-person task force to re-work the deal.
He was elected Colombian president in 2010, and then re-elected in 2014.

Previously, Santos had served as defense minister of the country from 2006 until 2009.

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