publicidad
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel peace prize on Friday

Colombia's Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize in boost for troubled talks

Colombia's Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize in boost for troubled talks

Santos was credited with brokering a peace accord. The award excluded FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londono, alias Timochenko, who signed the accord with Santos on Sept. 26.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel peace prize...
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel peace prize on Friday

By Stine Jacobsen and Helen Murphy | OSLO/BOGOTA

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to end a 52-year-old war with Marxist guerrillas, a surprise choice and a show of support days after voters rejected a peace deal he signed with the rebels.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Santos had brought one of the longest civil wars in modern history significantly closer to a peaceful solution, but there was still a danger the peace process could collapse.

The award excluded FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, who signed the peace accord with Santos in Cartagena on Sept. 26.

Santos has promised to revive the plan even though Colombians narrowly rejected it in a referendum on Sunday. Many voters believedit was too lenient on the FARC guerrillas.

"There is a real danger that the peace process will come to a halt and that civil war will flare up again. This makes it even more important that the parties ... continue to respect the ceasefire," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

"The fact that a majority of the voters said 'No' to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead."

More than 220,000 people have died on the battlefield or in massacres during the conflict between leftist guerrillas, government troops and right-wing paramilitaries.

Millions have been displaced and many beg on the streets of the capital, while economic potential has been held up in the mostly rural nation.

publicidad

"I infinitely appreciate from all of my heart this honorable distinction, not in my name, but the name of all Colombians, and especially the millions of victims that have been left by the conflict we have suffered for more than 50 years," Santos, 65, said in a brief statement.

"Thank God peace is close. Peace is possible."

Asked why Londono was left out, committee leader Kaci Kullmann Five said Santos had been central to the process.

"President Santos has been taking the very first and historic initiative. There have been other tries, but this time he went all-in as leader of the government with a strong will to reach a result. That's why we have put the emphasis on president."

She declined to elaborate on Londono's role. Londono via Twitter congratulated Santos, and thanked countries including Cuba and Venezuela for supporting the process.

"The only prize to which we aspire is that of peace with social justice for a Colombia without paramilitarism, without retaliation nor lies," he wrote on his personal Twitter account after the award went only to Santos.

POSSIBLE ANGER

Santos is the first Latin American to receive the peace prize since indigenous rights campaigner Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala won in 1992, and is the second Colombian laureate after writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the literature prize in 1982.

The scion of one of Colombia's most prosperous families, Santos was not thought likely to spearhead a peace process with FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

publicidad

But though he had served as defense minister under hardline ex-president Alvaro Uribe, when the FARC were weakened by a U.S.-backed offensive, Santos has used his two terms in office to open negotiations with rebel leaders in four years of talks.

His family once owned leading Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, where he worked as an editor before turning to politics. He also trained as an economist at the London School of Economics.

Santos was finance minister in the 1990s, helping to steer the Andean nation through one of its worst fiscal crises.

The peace talks made bitter enemies of Santos and Uribe, who accused his former protege of betraying FARC victims. Uribe founded a new right-wing political party, won a Senate seat and led the "No" camp in the referendum.

But Uribe commented on the award from his Twitter account.

"I congratulate President Santos for the Nobel and hope it helps move towards changes to accord which is so damaging to democracy."

The news may anger those Colombians who see Santos' bid for peace with the FARC as selling out the nation as he negotiated terms that they see as an embarrassment.

But the fact that his rebel foe did not receive the prize alongside him may be a relief to Santos, given political tensions following the referendum. It may also give Santos a moral boost in talks with Uribe.

"This gives me hope that the prize will bring peace with the FARC, though it cannot come above the will of the people," said Adriana Perez, a 26-year old teacher in Bogota.

publicidad

Another, 35-year-old Juan Tomas Gomez said he was "sure it would help bring an end to the war" as he unloaded food from a truck.

A joint win could have set back sensitive talks with the opposition as Santos tries to negotiate new terms with the "No" camp and possibly persuade the FARC to accept changes to the original accord.

The "No" vote was a disaster for Santos, who had hoped to turn his focus quickly to other matters including possible talks with the smaller ELN rebel group, tax reform and other economic measures to compensate for a drop in oil income.

SETBACK

Some Nobel watchers had taken Colombia off their lists of favorites after Santos' referendum defeat.

"The peace accord was indeed a major achievement and, although the referendum was a setback, hopefully this award will help peace builders maintain the momentum needed to keep the process moving forward," Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Director Dan Smith said in a statement.

The United Nations human rights office, which does not usually comment on Nobel Peace Prizes, said the award was a recognition of the importance of the conflict in Colombia.

The one-sided prize echoes previous awards, such as to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in 2000 for his work for reconciliation with North Korea. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt won in 1971 for his policies of reaching out to the communist East.

But often the awards go to both sides in peace negotiations, such as to Israelis and Palestinians in 1994 or to Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin in 1978.

publicidad

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 8 million Swedish crowns ($930,000), will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10.

publicidad
publicidad
When Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as Philippines’ president in June 2016, he declared a war on drug traffickers and users. Since then, Human Rights groups estimate more than 12,000 people have been killed in this offensive they call "a war on the poor." Univision News traveled to Manila and witnessed this conflict first hand.
They grew up in Chicago and their husbands, the Flores twins (aka ‘Los Mellizos’), worked for the Sinaloa cartel. The twins later became DEA informants in Mexico who helped bring down El Chapo Guzman. They have written a book, Cartel Wives, telling their story as a lesson to others not to fall for the narco life, and they regret what they put their families through. "Our fathers put on their suit of armor and their badge, and they are going out there on the streets of Chicago,” Mia confesses. “It’s the very same streets that our husbands were flooding with drugs.”
Nelson Denis, author of 'War Against All Puerto Ricans,' details how the commonwealth's 119-year-long association with the U.S. has produced total economic and governing dependence. With over $70 billion in crushing debt, Puerto Rico's governor turned to the courts on Wednesday to put certain debts before a federal bankruptcy court.
We traveled to Ciudad Juárez to see if hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Mexican maquiladora industry would return to the United States if Trump were to modify or abandon the NAFTA free trade agreement, as his government is considering. A border tax would have serious consequences in Mexican cities.
A wave of demonstrations in Venezuela has left several dead and hundreds more detained in the last two weeks. Univision reporter Tamoa Calzadilla explains how a democratic crisis, inflation and shortages of food and medicine have sent Venezuelans into the streets.
Havana biologist, Marta Llanes, has spent the last year raising two baby chimps in her 5th floor Havana apartment.
Gina Potes and Patricia Espitia were attacked with acid in Colombia, a country with one of the highest number of attacks of this kind. They have created a sisterhood, which they have used to help other victims and raise awareness about these brutal attacks.
Figures show the US has admitted just over 18,000 Syrian refugees since the war broke out in the Middle Eastern country. It's estimated that 4 million Syrian children have only known war time.
As the legend goes, a UFO landed in Capilla del Monte in 1986, leaving a mark on the side of the Pajarillo mountains. Since then, this Argentinian village has lived off UFO tourism. It's currently hosting its annual Alien Festival.
The announcement to scrap the benefits came as a bucket of cold water for the Cuban migrants who just arrived in the United States. As this group waits for their papers, the uncertainty grows on whether they will ever be reunited with the relatives they left on the island.
A group of Argentines diagnosed with mental illness set up a radio station from where they broadcast their experiences
How Fidel Castro's plan to save Cuban baseball unraveled. The once mighty amateur baseball champions have lost much of their talent in recent years to U.S. Major League Baseball. Now the Cuban government is in discussions with MLB to stop the desertions. But will a Trump presidency make that more difficult?
A half-century of armed conflict has left behind 8 million victims in Colombia. It has also affected the country's unique natural resources. We explore the war’s impact on Colombia’s environment.
Forty three students in Mexico were abducted two years ago, and to this day, none have ever been found. When his son Jorge disappeared, New York City plumber Antonio Tizapa began to run marathons, not to win, but to send a message at the end of each race: he won’t stop until he finds his son or the truth about what really happened on that shameful day. On Sunday, Antonio and 20 friends will be running the New York City Marathon.
The evidence against El Chapo: undercover recordings, intercepted communications, protected witnesses’ declarations, drug seizures, and a confession. As U.S. prosecutors prepare their case against the world's most feared drug trafficker, this is what the government's case is built around.
Six months after the U.S. president visited the island, Cubans are divided over his impact. A government reform program is on hold as anxious residents pray for a tourist invasion.
Ana Patricia, Karla y Yisus disfrutaron con sus hijos de una mágica historia acerca de la Navidad
Nuestros conductores llevaron a sus pequeños a una función especial de la película 'The Star', la cual relata – desde el punto de vista de los animales – la historia del nacimiento de Jesús y de la primera Navidad.
Roselyn Sánchez se atrevió y está, junto a Jaime Camil, en la lista de los mejor vestidos de Latin GRAMMY
La alfombra roja de Latin GRAMMY estuvo llena de brillo, buen gusto y color. Entérate cuáles fueron los famosos que destacaron, y los que no, con los modelitos que eligieron este año.
Las bellas de la familia Univision literalmente brillaron en la alfombra del Latin GRAMMY
Nuestras conductoras Pamela Silva-Conde, Karla Martínez y Chinquirá Delgado lucieron realmente despampanantes en la alfombra roja de los Latin GRAMMY, dejando muy en alto a la familia Univision.
publicidad
"No nos dijeron qué pasó con ella": familiar de hispana que murió durante liposucción en Tijuana
David Reynoso, sobrino de la víctima, dice que su tía viajó desde EEUU a Tijuana para la cirugía estética. Asegura que se enteraron de su mal estado de salud por un conductor de Uber que se preocupó por la tardanza y entró a investigar. Esperan que la clínica explique qué ocurrió.
Saboristas: Posh Sushi
Yvannia García probó toda clase de sushi en Posh Sushi, un lugar que promete una fusión de sabores mexicanos y japoneses.
Rescatan a un inmigrante herido en el desierto de Arizona
El guatemalteco que viajaba con tres mexicanos se fracturó una pierna por lo cual no pudo seguir la travesía y fue rescatado vía aérea desde un área de difícil acceso.
¡No te pierdas Surclovía este fin de semana!
El concejal Rey Saldaña, del Distrito 4, nos habla sobre “Surclovía”, un evento que se llevará a cabo este fin de semana en el sur de San Antonio en donde se invita a la comunidad a salir a andar en bicicleta en las calles.
Presidente de Perú pide a su selección que no pasen otros 36 años sin ir al Mundial
El mandatario peruano, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, lanzó una clara petición a los futbolistas y federación de su país.
¡Emocionante! Así sufrieron y celebraron los técnicos de la MLS en el 2017
En 33 semanas de temporada regular y dos jornadas de los playoffs, los entrenadores de cada equipo vivieron cada partido con una intensidad única.
Danny Amendola: "Me encantó México, su cultura, la comida y la Lucha Libre"
El receptor de los New England Patriots platicó en entrevista con 'Camino al Super Bowl' la experiencia de su visita a la Ciudad de México y afirmó que está emocionado de regresar pues se divirtió mucho en los encordados como "El Zorro".
José Altuve, el astro del béisbol que se quedó con el título de MVP de la Liga Americana
Bajo de estatura, pero gigante en talento y personalidad, el pelotero venezolano de los Astros de Houston cerró con broche de oro el 2017, en el que también se coronó campeón de la Serie Mundial.