BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded was heaven sent and a key factor in giving additional impulse to the peace process his country is immersed in with the FARC, which following its defeat during the Oct. 2 referendum had become stagnant.
“It was literally heaven sent, it arrived at a critical moment and gave additional impulse to the process we are (...) completing at this moment,” President Santos said during an exclusive interview with EFE, referring to the popular vote’s refusal to back the peace agreement which was overturned by a margin of only 50,000 votes.
He said the peace process depended on “entering a grand national dialogue that incorporated the concerns expressed by those who voted against the peace agreement and would lead towards a more comprehensive and wide-ranging agreement.”
The statesman confessed he never expected to win the Peace Prize and, when they contacted him to inform him of the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision, he thought it was a prank, that somebody was playing a joke on him.
“I think having lost by such a small margin was better than having won, because if we had won by so little the country would be in flames,” said Santos, referring to the referendum’s tight result that awarded the victory to the “no” faction by a mere 50,000 votes.
Facing this new horizon, President Santos considered that Colombia has a great opportunity ahead: the chance to obtain a better agreement and a more united country.