The Nobel Controversy that Does Not Involve Bob

So the Nobel Peace Prize went to Juan Manuel Santos. He’s the current president of Colombia (think Gabriel Garcia Marquez guys) and he was awarded for his “efforts to bring the country’s 50 year long civil war to an end”. Why the controversy? Well…

To begin with the prize was awarded just a few days after an embarrassing referendum that put an end to a peace deal between Santos and the country’s largest rebel group known by the Spanish acronym FARC. You see, the deal to end 52 years of war was opened up for voters to decide about, and according to the New York Times, 50.2 % actually rejected the deal while 49.8% voted in favour of it. This may seem super bizarre, at least it did to me, especially since both Santos and the FARC leaders both wanted to stop the fighting, but the reasons behind it kinda makes sense. Basically many Colombians felt the deal was too good for FARC. As in, it meant they’d get reduced sentences and be able to live like normal citizens and after all the kidnapping and killing they did, a lot of Colombians didn’t want that. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/world/colombia-peace-deal-defeat.html
Note that Santos alone was awarded the prize, FARC leader Timochenko did not get to share it and knowing about the referendum explains why.

Another point of controversy was the fact that the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, were not awarded despite thousands of people signing a petition to have them win. According to the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/07/nobel-peace-prize-juan-manuel-santos) this could be because the prize would actually make more of an impact in Santos case since it’s crucial to sway the minds of the 0.2% of the Colombian population in case of a future referendum.