The president of Colombia has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The Nobel committee has said that the prestigious award is given to him for pursuing a deal to end 52 years of conflict with a leftist rebel group.
The President has dedicated the prize to his fellow Colombians, especially the victims of the long conflict.
Here are 5 things you should know about Juan Manuel Santos the conflict in Colombia.
- Juan Manuel Santos was born in Bogota in 10 August 1951 in an influential family. He was elected as Colombian president in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Santos comes from one of Colombia’s most wealthy and powerful families. His father edited the country’s most important national newspaper, El Tiempo, for over 50 years.
- The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc, after the initials in Spanish) are Colombia’s largest rebel group. Their main founders were small farmers and land workers who had banded together to fight against the staggering levels of inequality in Colombia. Under Santos’leadership, the military freed kidnapped politician Ingrid Betancourt and three American citizens held by the Farc.
- Santos rose to power as the country’s Defense Minister. In his tenure he organized an intense counterinsurgency campaign that diminished the Farc and wiped out many of its commanders.
- Santos is the second man from his country to win a Nobel Prize, after novelist Gabriel García Márquez. Even some who had opposed Santos in the peace deal with Farc offered him well wishes
- After becoming President, Santos staked his legacy on ending the war. The peace accord was the culmination of four yearsof negotiations with Farc. The Colombian government and the rebels worked their way for a peaceful resolution.