Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos awarded Nobel Peace Prize for bid to finish half-century conflict

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to finish a half-century of polite dispute in his nation, despite Colombian voters’ intolerable rejecting of a assent understanding usually days ago.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee pronounced it done a preference given of Santos’s landmark efforts to hindrance one of a world’s longest-running conflicts — Marxist rebels battling supervision army given a 1960s. 

But a endowment was a warn given of a doubt over either assent will reason following a Sunday vote that deserted a deal. Many Colombians see it as too inexhaustible to a militias of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

“This is really critical eventuality for my country, for a victims of this war,” Santos pronounced Friday. “This a good push. We’re on a verge of finale this war.”

Offering a window into Nobel deliberations, a cabinet pronounced that a members were unwavering that Colombian assent efforts were endangered.

“There is a genuine risk that a assent routine will come to a hindrance and that polite quarrel will light adult again,” pronounced Kaci Kullmann Five, a former Norwegian politician who is now chair of a Norwegian Nobel Committee. “We wish it will inspire all good initiatives and all a parties who could make a disproportion in this routine in Colombia.” 

Among a surprises of a endowment was that it was offering to Santos alone, rather than to him and his partner in a assent efforts, a personality of a FARC rebels, Rodrigo Londoño, who goes by a alias Timochenko.

Londoño on Friday pronounced that he remained committed to peace.

“The usually esteem we aspire to is #PeaceWithSocialJustice for a #Colombia giveaway of paramilitary violence, punish and lies #PeaceTakeTheStreets,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

The FARC personality was never deliberate as clever a claimant for a endowment as Santos. Like other riotous commanders, he is wanted in a United States on drug-trafficking charges, and he leads a insurgent army that a United States and Colombian governments cruise a “terrorist” organization.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, with his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, reacts after casting his opinion on a assent settle referendum on Sunday. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Timochenko has usually been a manifest participation during a talks in Havana given final year, and negotiators contend he typically prefers to nominee responsibilities to his negotiating team.

Norway and Cuba served as “guarantors” to a assent negotiations with a FARC, radically personification a go-between role.

Santos won extended general subsidy for his bid to finish a war, from a United States, a United Nations, a European Union and a Vatican. Former Beatle Ringo Starr even available a strain for it.

But it seemed to make small disproportion in Colombia, where Santos’s capitulation is significantly reduce than it is abroad. With Colombia’s economy negligence and crime on a rise, Santos’s presidential capitulation rating has slumped next 30 percent in new months. His opponents were means to better his assent understanding Sunday in partial by creation a opinion a referendum on his presidency.

“The endowment should also be seen as a reverence to a Colombian people who, notwithstanding good hardships and abuses, have not given adult wish of a usually peace,” Kullman Five said, reading a matter from a Nobel Committee in a chambers in Oslo.

The 52-year-old quarrel has killed 220,000 people and replaced 7 million. Santos called for Sunday’s referendum, awaiting an easy resolution of a years-long assent effort. Instead, he mislaid by a razor-thin domain of 50.21 to 49.78 percent, throwing a understanding into uncertainty.

The office of a assent understanding with a guerrillas “was a deeply personal self-assurance for him,” pronounced Pilar Calderon, who worked closely with Santos as his communications executive for dual years, until April. 

She pronounced a endowment was a capitulation of “his untiring effort, that hasn’t stopped even in a moments of biggest uncertainty,” including a overwhelming better of a settle during a polls Sunday.

Calderon pronounced she approaching that some in their deeply polarized nation will contend Santos’s prolonged debate for a agreement with a rebels was encouraged by personal “vanity” and a kind of prize-chasing.

“They’re wrong,” she said. “He did it given he knows that a usually approach for Colombia to pierce brazen is with peace.”

The destiny of a efforts are in flux. Ordinary FARC soldiers have already spent months scheming to lay down their arms and react their families. Any new understanding will expected embody harsher penalties for those who have taken partial in a fight. Many rebels have spent decades in a jungle

Absent any breakthroughs, a Jun cease-fire will finish Oct. 31.

Santos faced a vital plea from his former domestic champion and prototype as Colombia’s leader, Álvaro Uribe, who led a successful bid to derail a assent accord. Uribe is a extreme censor of a FARC insurgent leaders and pronounced a assent understanding let them off too lightly.

“I honour President Santos for a Nobel,” Uribe wrote on Twitter. “I wish it leads to changes to a accords that are deleterious for democracy.” 

Santos, who was inaugurated boss in 2010, has staked his legacy on a assent deal, withdrawal him politically bleeding in a issue of Sunday’s vote. The Harvard-educated scion of one of Colombia’s many distinguished families, he was a nation’s invulnerability apportion from 2006 until 2009, a duration when a Colombian troops dealt FARC some of a toughest setbacks.  

In a segment prolonged polarized by ideology, Santos was noticed as a new kind of statesman, a pro-business, socially liberal, globally disposed centrist on a commendable query to finish his country’s bloody, sour war.

But it was this same centrism that left him waste during a polls Sunday. There was no ardent domestic bottom to lift him. Or during slightest not one large adequate to overcome his more-fervent opponents.

Santos had told Colombians that a referendum on a assent understanding was a many significance choice of their lives. Barely 18 percent of authorised electorate voted “yes” on it Sunday; 18.3 percent went a conflicting way. The rest of a country’s electorate stayed home.

The referendum was Santos’s idea. The FARC didn’t wish it. But Santos motionless early on in a negotiations that any assent settle with a Marxist rebels would be some-more durable if it had a approved mandate. With a support of Colombian voters, he insisted, a understanding would acquire a required movement to lift brazen over 2018, when Santos’s second tenure will end.

With his capitulation ratings sinking, Santos pronounced in an talk with The Washington Post before a referendum that a domestic costs of posterior a assent settle had been “enormous.”

“They warned me 5 years ago that creation assent was totally opposite from what we had been doing as apportion of defense,” he said. “When we was invulnerability apportion we was really popular, and now that I’m boss I’m unpopular given I’m perplexing to make peace.”

The esteem cabinet deliberate a record 376 nominations this year for a prestigious award. Other tip contenders had been a negotiators of a Iran chief deal, a Syrian activists who rescue bombing victims, and Svetlana Gannushkina, a extreme disciple for migrants’ rights in Russia. 

The five-member Nobel Committee would have done a final preference in new weeks, potentially before a Colombian referendum upended a assent routine there.

The endowment comes during a quite diligent time for assent around a world. Efforts to levy a cease-fire in a harsh dispute in Syria have collapsed amid a misfortune assault in a five-year war.

Europe, that threw open a doors to refugees final year, has now hermetic a borders following a voter backlash. It usually inked a argumentative understanding with war-torn Afghanistan to send behind an total array of deportees.

Previous awards have been given to leaders of peace efforts that after fell apart. The general group that oversaw Syria’s chemical weapons disarmament was awarded a prize in 2013, though accusations of chemical weapons use insist in Syria. Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni publisher and romantic who was a 2011 honoree, has now fled her war-torn country.

“I feel really disappointed,” she said.

The prize, that was initial awarded in 1901, is a many prestigious of a array of awards included by a Swedish nobleman Alfred Nobel.

Miroff reported from Havana. Annabell Van basement Berghe in Brussels contributed to this report.

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