Does President Juan Manuel Santos deserve to win a Nobel Peace Prize?

As it was announce that Nobel Peace Prize goes to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos how do you see this decision, do you think that it may have a positive impact on Colombia peace process which is still probably very fragile after the failed referendum? Read few comments.

W. Alejandro SanchezInternational Security Analyst

Does President Juan Manuel Santos deserve to win a Nobel Peace Prize even, though, while a peace agreement was signed, a majority of Colombian voters voted against it? Yes.  Negotiating with the insurgents  has been the cornerstone of his presidency, going against many opponents and gaining him new ones, like his former boss and former ally, former President Alvaro Uribe. He managed to accomplish what presidents Belisario Bentacourt (in 1982) and Andres Pastrana (in the late 1990s), via peace negotiations, and President Uribe, by military means, could not: peace with the FARC. The problem was that a majority of the Colombian electorate believe (erroneously, in my opinion), that the deal will somehow grant a complete amnesty to FARC insurgents and allow for some “takeover” of the government via political means.

Hence, the question is whether President Santos deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for an attempt at peace that was stopped short in its tracks because the electorate was not adequately informed. Again, I believe so, though the question is whether the FARC leader, Rodrigo Londoño, should have received one as well. (For the record, the FARC leader tweeted a congratulatory message to the Colombian head of state).

As for whether the award will help the ratification of the peace negotiations, I do not think so. It has become quite clear that the Colombian government had no “Plan B” in case the referendum failed. Thankfully the cease fire is still in effect, and the issue is whether the agreement can be modified and the government can call for a new referendum quickly. Unfortunately, I am not savvy enough in Colombian law to know how many referenda can the government call for.


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