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LSE alumnus Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wins 2016 Nobel peace prize

Juan Manuel Santos C4E1B64

Colombian president and LSE alumnus Juan Manuel Santos has won the 2016 Nobel peace prize. The Nobel Committee awarded the prize to President Santos for his work to bring Colombia’s 50-year-long civil war to an end.

The Colombian civil war is one of the longest civil wars in modern times, and the sole remaining armed conflict in the Americas. President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas.

President Santos studied for a Master of Science in the Department of Economics at LSE in 1975.

Gareth Jones, Professor of Urban Geography and Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Centre, said: "The Prize was given for President Santos's brave decision to conduct more than four years of negotiations with the FARC that resulted in the Havana peace agreement. The negotiations attempted to put an end to decades of internal conflict that have left an estimated 260,000 people dead, over 6 million displaced, and many millions more in extended conditions of poverty and daily lives faced with violence and insecurity.

"Since attending LSE in 1975, President Santos has been a regular visitor and strong supporter of the School over many years."

The Nobel Committee said that by awarding this year's Peace Prize to President Juan Manuel Santos, they wish to “encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation and justice in Colombia. His endeavours to promote peace thus fulfil the criteria and spirit of Alfred Nobel's will.”

Image: President Santos speaking at his LSE public lecture, Leading Colombia towards Prosperity for All, LSE, 2011. Listen to the lecture.