Leaders, rights activists and past Nobel laureates from Latin America and the world weighed in early on the news that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to help end the long-running conflict in his country.
“I congratulate President Santos for the Nobel. I hope it leads to a change in the accords that are damaging for our democracy.” — Santos’ arch rival and predecessor, Colombian conservative hardliner Alvaro Uribe.
“We obviously all hope, having been there during the process and invested in it, that this can still work out and get over the hurdles that remain.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“This is an extraordinary stage for Colombia in its intense search for peace. Santos now has a lot to do to take Colombians down the path of peace.” — Guatemalan indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchu, who won the Nobel in 1992.
“This award says to them: you have come too far to turn back now. The peace process should inspire our world.” — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on what this year’s Nobel Peace Prize means for Colombians.
“I wish you and the Colombian people great strength, stamina and success in the future in taking the next steps on the way to lasting peace.” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a congratulatory note to Santos.
“We hope today’s announcement will embolden the parties to continue efforts to reach a definitive peace agreement that ensures the right of victims to truth, justice and reparation and brings an end to the human rights violations that have marked the armed conflict.” — Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
“What pride for our region! Keep working to ensure that peace becomes a reality.” — Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra.
“The award is a matter of pride not only for Colombians, but for the entire region.” — Brazilian President Michel Temer.
“We hope to help consolidate peace in Colombia.” — Argentine rights defender Adolfo Perez Esquivel, 1980 Nobel Peace laureate.