Well, this is awkward:
The president of Colombia was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for pursuing a deal to end 52 years of conflict with a leftist rebel group, the longest-running war in the Americas, just five days after Colombians rejected the agreement in a shocking referendum result.
The decision to give the prize to the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, may revive hopes for the agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, with whom the country has been waging the last major guerrilla struggle in Latin America.
Mr. Santos said he was told of the Nobel committee’s decision by his son Martín, who woke him before dawn on Friday. The winner dedicated the prize to his fellow Colombians, especially the victims of the long conflict, and called on the opponents of the peace deal to join him in securing an end to hostilities.
In case you weren’t paying attention, the people of Colombia narrowly rejected the peace deal, mainly because they feel it is too forgiving on FARC for their past terrorist activities and gives FARC a legitimate political presence. I do not know nearly enough about the situation to judge wether these criticisms are fair or not.
However, I can not think of a better illustration of the futility of the Noble Peace Prize than giving it out days after the recipient’s signature achievement failed. I guess next year, they’ll give it to Hillary Clinton, win or lose, just because.