George Barreras never planned on moving his family to Saskatoon yet cocaine hitmen forced him to flee Colombia a decade ago.
Now he's sharing his story with Saskatoon teens & parents. He wants people to know the real price tag of supporting the illegal drug trade.
'They want it, they take it'
Ten years ago, George Barreras worked in water treatment outside Cali, Colombia. He had settled there with his wife, Hiscay. Her father, Guillermo Rivera, owned 2,000 hectares of land with a river running through it.
"My wife's family they had land that was inherited from generation to generation, & then criminal groups in Colombia wanted the land. And they approached her family & said we need the land," he said.
"Well these criminal groups don't pay for them, they just want the land. They refused & that's how her father was murdered, her brother, her uncle, her cousins, & the only people left were us, so that's when we had to start running."
Rivera was shot leaving his home & died in front of his daughter.
"Everyone received two shots in the head. Every single one."
A story to tell
Barreras & his family eventually made their way to Saskatoon. Now he works at the water treatment plant & tells his story.Â
Next week, he'll be a speaker at a drug education seminar organized by Const. Matt Ingrouille. Like Ingrouille, he will notÂ lecture kids approximately why they shouldn't do drugs.
"The message that I want to donate to people is that when they pay for drugs they're not only killing themselves yet that that money they pay for drugs ends up in the hands of criminal groups that eventually murder people like my family," he said.
"When you pay for drugs on the street, you're killing other people & that blood money ends up eventually in the hands of criminals."
The seminar is set for Wednesday 7 p.m. at the police station.Â It's open to the public.