Speed Reads


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos awarded 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

On Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end." Santos put the peace accord with the FARC guerrilla group up to a popular vote, and in a shocking upset, the voters narrowly rejected the deal. "The outcome of the vote was not what President Santos wanted," the Nobel Committee said, but the result "does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead." Santos "has brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution," the committee said, and his "endeavors to promote peace thus fulfill the criteria and spirit of Alfred Nobel's will."

"By awarding this year's Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation, and justice in Colombia," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. "The Committee hopes that the Peace Prize will give him strength to succeed in this demanding task." Santos is the second Colombian to win a Nobel; Gabriel García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.

The Peace Prize is the most anticipated Nobel, and there is always a lot of speculation and second-guessing about the selected laureate. In announcing the prize, the committee said it never comments on those it did not pick, in response to a question about why FARC leaders were not included in the prize. One of the popular favorites to win this year's Peace Prize were the White Helmets, or Syrian defense forces, who grace the cover of this week's Time magazine. They were collectively graceful in being passed over. Peter Weber