The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama and not Colombian opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba, who had been considered the most probable to win.
In the weeks before the award announcement in Oslo Friday, Cordoba‘s chances to win the prize were considered very high; an influential Norwegian peace activist speculated she would win and in a leading UK betting office the Colombian politician had the best odds to win.
Nevertheless, the prize went to Obama for giving the world “hope for a better future.” The U.S. President was praised by the Nobel Committee for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Cordoba’s nomination by former Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Peres Esquivel was received with great criticism in Colombia. More than ten thousand people joined a facebook page asking the Nobel Committee not to award the senator for her efforts to bring forth a peace dialogue and her mediation in hostage releases, because of her friendly ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and accusations by the government and supporters of president Alvaro Uribe she has ties to the country’s largest rebel group FARC.
No Colombian won the prestigious prize in the 108 years of its existence.