Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Santos won Nobel for his efforts to end five-decades-long civil war in Colombia. Harvard-educated Santos was behind some of FARC’s biggest military setbacks. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos+ won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to end a five-decades-long civil war that has killed more than 200,000 people in the South American country.
What a surprise win!
It was a surprise win, given the peace deal he struck with Farc leader Timochenko was rejected by the Colombian people in a referendum less than a week ago. Santos said he was deeply honoured by the prize and accepted the prize on behalf of the Colombian people and in particular of the victims of the decades-long conflict. The award came just days after Colombian voters narrowly rejected the peace deal that Santos helped bring about, and Nobel authorities conspicuously left out his counterpart, Rodrigo Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, from the honor.
Juan Manuel Santos Background
- President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas, and he has consistently sought to move the peace process forward.
- Well knowing that the accord was controversial, he was instrumental in ensuring that Colombian voters were able to voice their opinion concerning the peace accord in a referendum.
- Santos, 65, climbed to the top of Colombian politics as a warrior rather than a peace advocate.
- He is one of the few recent Colombian presidents to have served in the military, having joined the Navy straight out of high school.
Prize in hand, Santos says he is now determined to push the peace process across the goal line. He told reporters: “I think this is the moment, conditions are ripe, and we just have to persevere and this has been what has given me stimulus to persevere. This is the best cause that any person can try to achieve—peace for his country.”