viernes, 7 de octubre de 2016

Colombian president given Nobel peace prize

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 7 October, in spite of losing a national referendum on 2 October over his peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The prize, as a Nobel committee spokesman told Santos by phone, was for his "resolute efforts to bring the civil war in Colombia to a peaceful end," while a grateful Santos admitted to him the country was earlier "on the verge" of doing so. He later said in public that he "humbly" accepted the prize "in the name of all Colombians" and especially of "millions of victims" who had suffered through 50 years of civil conflict in Colombia. In the referendum his government had called to obtain public backing for the peace deal, over 60 per cent of eligible voters abstained and 50.2 per cent of those who did participate, voted against it. Media and observers analysed extensively why the public seemed dissatisfied, and reasons given included a vigorous No campaign led by the former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, and insufficient consultations with political parties and civil associations. According to the broadcaster Caracol, Santos and the FARC would discuss "adjustments and specifications" to the deal in response to the No victory. Yet Mr Uribe congratulated Santos on his prize, and wrote on Twitter that he hoped this would prompt him to change any agreement "harmful to peace" in Colombia. Bogotá's former leftist mayor Gustavo Petro also congratulated Santos, pointing out on Twitter that he was, after the novelist Gabriel García Márquez, the second Colombian to become a Nobel laureate.