The Hypocrisy of Awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to Juan Manuel Santos

By Carlos Aznárez

“This is an acknowledgment of all the hard work and the important initiative of President Santos”, the spokeswoman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, when announcing this year’s winner of the prize, which is becoming more and more meaningless with each edition.

The establishment picks its winners deliberately, according to their interests. They have done it before when they awarded the prize to the two greatest ideologists of the genocide of the Palestine people: Shimon Peres and Isaac Rabin, or to Barack Obama, who went on to spread the US war in the Middle East and maintain the torture center of Guantánamo.

Even though he changed his appearance and now makes his whole cabinet dress in white, the color of peace and purity, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Santos has a long history as war strategist for the Colombian establishment.

Before being President of Colombia, he was Minister of Defense during the government of Álvaro Uribe Vélez —who is now the third wheel in the peace negotiations. As Minister of Defense, the Nobel Peace Prize winner led the Armed Forces from 2006 to 2009 and applied “cleansing” and “scorched earth” strategies against the FARC and ELN guerrillas.

He invented the “false positives”: peasant men and women from the forgotten areas of Colombia that were kidnapped, murdered and dressed up in the green uniforms of the guerrillas. This was done in order to get rid of any sort of social activist and make it seem that the army was being effective against the guerrillas. Mass media helped by disseminating the news on dead “subversive elements” or “members of terrorist groups”. In a process similar to the “conquest of the West” in the US, when soldiers hunted indigenous people down and cut their ears off to get rewards, the Colombian Army soldiers photographed the corpses of the “false positives” in order to earn bonuses.

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Another gem in Santos’ record is the “Phoenix Operation”, by which the Colombian Air Force violated the Ecuadorian airspace and bombarded the camp of the FARC Commander, Raúl Reyes. It was a joint operation with the Israeli Mossad and the US CIA. The attack was carried out in the night. They dropped several tonnes of deadly bombs, and helicopter gunships shot down the survivors.

With this action, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and his mate Uribe Vélez got rid precisely of one of the men who were advancing towards the peace negotiations between the FARC and the government, and was doing international contacts to help him with this tasks.

Not only Commander Reyes died in this barbaric act, but also 22 guerrillas and four Mexican students that were on a visit. Others were severely wounded.

A while after, when Santos reached the presidency, he continued Uribe’s strategy of focusing the attacks on the leadership of the FARC, and during his administration the military, with the aid of the US and Israeli forces, murdered Mono Jojoy and the number one of the FARC, Alfonso Cano.

Paramilitarism is also an important factor in Santos’ history. These illegal groups reached their peak during the government of Uribe Vélez, when they instilled terror in the population with their bullets and chainsaws. The strategy, which Santos helped create and execute, was to “leave the fish without water”, which included massacring big population centers. Because of this, tens of thousands of people were executed by the Convivir, the Colombian Self-Defense Forces and the Black Eagles —names used by the paramilitary terrorists.

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In conclusion: There’s no doubt that the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Santos is a way to validate his new brand: Santos the Herald of Peace, which had been a little tarnished after the negative results of the plebiscite. This symbolic gesture allows him to stay ahead and pressure the FARC to reopen the negotiations, casting aside the agreements, and including the changes that Álvaro Uribe Vélez wants. What could be better than a Nobel Peace Prize in order for Santos to feel strong enough to convince the public that Uribe Vélez must be included in the negotiations.

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