Colombia’s Santos to donate Nobel prize money to victims

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize last week, has announced that he intends to donate the award money to victims of the conflict with the FARC.

The Nobel Peace Prize comes with a reward of 8m Swedish crowns, approximately US$930,000 dollars.

Santos won the 2016 prize on Friday for his role in helping to bring an end  to the 52-year-old war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, just days after voters narrowly rejected the peace deal signed with the rebels.  The Nobel Committee said Santos had brought one of the longest civil wars in modern history significantly closer to a peaceful solution, but there was still a danger the peace process could collapse.

President Santos made the announcement during a visit to the jungle town of Bojaya, in western Colombia  on Sunday.  “This wonderful Nobel Prize, which some consider the most important in the world, also comes with a monetary prize, 8 million Swedish crowns. I want to announce to you that last night I met with my family and we’ve decided to donate the 8 million Swedish crowns to victim reparations.”

Santos is the first Latin American to receive the peace prize since 1992 when Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala won the award for her work supporting social justice and indigenous rights.  Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.