It all began with the vision to fuse great-tasting all-natural snacks with effective ways to foster some of the long-term effects needed to overcome the Colombian conflict.
Conflict has been part of Colombian's history since its independence from the Spanish rule in 1810. The scale and intensity of conflict has changed throughout the years from marginal disruptions to generalized violence that affected the daily lives of most citizens, especially those living in remote rural areas. The beginning of the 21th century was dominated by the legacy of a devastating internal armed conflict and by efforts to establish a new security strategy that would foster stability and development. To some extent this new strategy, mainly focus on military pressure on illegal armed groups and criminal gangs, was successful. Kidnappings, displaced persons, massacre victims, homicides, drug trafficking and illicit financial flows are far less common than they were in the past. Colombia is also going through an exceptional situation in terms of economic growth and FDI prospects.
Yet, the risks of violence breaking out in the future remain because coercion cannot provide the grounds for sustained security and development unless it is followed by the development of a more legitimate state and society institutions. The stakes are high, because as suggested by the World Development Report 2011, "a civil conflict costs the average developing country roughly 30 years of GDP growth, and countries in protracted crisis can fall over 20 percentage points behind in overcoming poverty".
We know poverty and denial of human rights may not be said 'the cause' of civil war, terrorism or organized crime in Colombia, but they both greatly increase the risk of instability and violence. We will not enjoy development without security, and we will not enjoy security without development.