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Colombian President to Donate Nobel Peace Prize Winnings to Victims of War

  • VOA News

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says he will donate his Nobel Peace Prize winnings to the victims of the 50-year-long war between the Colombian government and FARC rebels.

Santos was awarded the more than $900,000 prize Friday for reaching a peace deal with the rebels earlier this year.

He said Sunday he will donate the money to "projects, foundations or programs that deal with victims and reconciliation."

He also vowed to see peace with the rebels even after Colombian voters narrowly rejected the deal in a referendum last week.

"We're going to persevere. We will persist, persist, persist and persist until we implement the agreement that was signed. If we have to make adjustments to what we have already agreed, we will make those adjustments."

Santos spoke at a ceremony in Bojaya, where rebels threw a grenade into a church when they tried to take control of the western town in 2002, killing more than 100 civilians. In all, the five-decade conflict has killed more than a quarter million people.

Colombians who voted against the peace deal say they are angered that under the accord, FARC fighters would avoid prison and other strong punishment for such massacres and other terrorist acts.