Even though the people of Colombia rejected the terms of a peace accord ending more than 50 years of civil war, the Nobel committee chose Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
“The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead,” the committee said, announcing the prize on 7th October.
The referendum on 2nd October “was not a vote for or against peace,” the prize announcement said. “What the ‘no’ side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.”
The committee honoured Santos “for his 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 6 million people.”
The prize, it said, “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.”
Picture: Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, pictured in a 2015 photo, has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. (CNS photo/Jose Miguel Gomez, Reuters).