Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday (Oct. 7), days after the nation’s voters shut down a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
In his ongoing fight for peace, Santos plans to donate his award composed of nearly $1 million to communities most impacted by the 52-year conflict. “You symbolize the suffering of the victims of 52 years of war and are at the center of the solution to this conflict,” he said before a crowd in Bojayá on Sunday (Oct. 9). “The victims have taught me that the capacity to forgive can overcome hatred and rancor.”
According to NBC Latino, the Bogota-based Peace and Reconciliation Foundation confirmed that 67 of the 81 Colombian municipalities hardest hit by the conflict, including Bojayá , voted “yes” in the referendum.
Before Santos ended his visit to the impoverished city in western Colombia, residents left him with a replica of a Christ statue mutilated during a mortar attack launched by FARC rebels in 2002, a gift the president cherishes as much as his Nobel Peace Prize, NBC adds. “I’m not going to falter a single minute,” he continued. “I’m not going to give up a single second.”