Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Award Committee recognized the “determined efforts” of the Colombian president “to put an end” to the armed conflict that lasted 52 years and resulted in 220,000 dead and missing and millions of displaced Colombians.
The award was given despite the result of the referendum on Oct. 2, which rejected the peace agreements concluded in Havana after almost four years of official negotiations and another four of exploratory talks prior. The No vote won by a narrow margin, 50.23 percent for No versus 49.76 percent for Yes, and an abstention rate of 63 percent.
For the moderates, this is an incentive to go ahead, despite the opinion of the polls. For the left, it demonstrates again the ambiguity of the Nobel institution, which, unlike in other conflicts — South Africa, Vietnam and the Middle East — this time has decided to award the prize exclusively to one side, ignoring the contributions of the other parties, decisive for any peace accord.
The first name was that of Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, alias Timoshenko, the FARC leader who signed with Santos the Cartagena agreements and conducted the negotiations. The second name was that of Cuban President Raul Castro, whose role has been crucial, both in reaching agreements and “demining” the logic of war in the new multipolar scenario.