By Rachel Fergus.
One of the most prestigious awards anyone can win has been announced for 2016: The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The prize was announced by Kaci Kullmann Five, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Santos, sixty-five, has been the Colombian president since 2010. Before being elected to that office, he served as the Minister of Defense (2006-2009). Santos was also a co-founder of the Social Party of National Unity. In his presidency, President Juan Manuel Santos has pursued peaceful relations with surrounding regions and within his own country.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the President for his efforts in ending the civil war in Colombia. The war has raged for over 50 years. According to the Nobel Prize website, the Colombian war has been the cause of at least 220,000 Colombian deaths, and has displaced about 6 million other citizens. FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas have been fighting to overthrow the government and create a new government based on Marxist ideals.
President Santos was the one to begin negotiations between FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government. To show the necessity of democracy, Colombia held a vote on if there should be a peace accord. Though the peace accord was voted down by a slim margin, Santos is still hopeful. The President plans to continue working with citizens to find a way to make peace for the war-torn country.
“I invite everyone to join our strength, our minds and our hearts in this great national endeavor so that we can win the most important prize of all: peace in Colombia.” – President Santos, quote from The New York Times.
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