In A Rebuke To Mayor Daniel Quintero, Beverage Giant Postobón Withdraws From COVID-19 Pact With Medellín
Colombian soft drink producer Postobón has announced it is pulling out of the Innspiramed mechanical ventilator project due to concerns over governance and political intrigue following the resignation of the initiative’s manager Gabriel Sanchez, and Ruta-N’s entire board of directors in protest of the governance and actions of Medellín Mayor Daniel Quintero.
In March of this year, Colombian companies Postobón & Bancolombia entered into a pact they called #InnovaPorLaVida with Medellín’s Ruta N business incubator to rapidly create solutions to counter the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The alliance found rapid success in creating ventilators that can be built inexpensively and locally to treat COVID-19 patients.
Despite repeated requests by Finance Colombia, Mayor Daniel Quintero, through his press secretary has refused to respond.
Postobón indicates that the ventilators produced under the project still have not been approved by Colombia’s health regulatory authority INVIMA, and that the company has already spent $4 billion pesos on the initiative, just over a million USD. With the resignation of Sanchez complicating the approval process and compounding the rejection of the mayor’s actions in recent days, Postobon decided to pull the plug, indicating it would continue to contribute to the fight against the pandemic, just not associated with the mayor’s team.
“We are alerted and concerned by the situation that Ruta N is experiencing today, the backbone of the project and guarantor of the resources with the resignation of its board of directors and that of Mr. Gabriel Sanchez, manager of the Innspiramed Mechanical Ventilators Project.”