In a press release issued on Friday, October 7th from the headquarters of the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo, Norway, it was announced thatColombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Santos is 96th recipient of this prestigious award which has been given to global humanitarians since 1901. He is the 26th Head of State or Government who has been honored with this prize. The last government official to receive the Nobel Peace Prize was President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia who was awarded in 2011.

A true humanitarian

In the press release issued by the Nobel Committee, President Santos of Columbia is celebrated for his dedicated efforts to end violence in his nation and to supportpeace or "paz" as it is known in his native land.

President Santos was instrumental in leading efforts to negotiate peace between his government and FARC guerrillas who have been heavily entrenched in the jungles of colombia for decades.

President Santos made international news in 2016 when he offered his nation the ability vote on the future of their nation. Though that historic accord was defeated, it was not because of a lack of national support for President Santos' efforts to generate a stable and lasting peace in Columbia. In the press release issued by the Nobel Prize Committee, President Santos is congratulated for his commitments to democracy and for his efforts to elevate the voices of his people. A unifier and a humanitarian, Colombia is a safer and more equitable place thanks to the efforts of President Juan Manuel Santos.

A champion of peace

President Santos has dedicated himself to the peace process while also remaining compassionate to the historical trauma his nation has experienced as a result of its brutal civil war. The Colombian Conflict as it is known began between 1958 and 1964 and has involved the government, paramilitary groups and criminal organizations.

According the Colombia's National Center for Historic Memory, more than 250,000 have died as a direct result of this conflict. It is estimated that at least 200,000 of those were citizens not actively engaged in battle. Though these numbers are immense, it is important to remember that due to the on-going brutality of this civil conflict, these estimates may not capture the full extent of lives lost.

At this time, the world needs to celebrate leaders like President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia.The 2016 Nobel Prize Winner has offered a shining of example of how to serve his nation as atrue leader and champion of his people.

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