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DEA Kicks-Off 2017 Red Ribbon Campaign

(ATLANTA) – The National Red Ribbon Campaign has kicked off its 33rd anniversary across the country. The campaign, which is the nation’s farthest reaching drug prevention effort, began after drug traffickers in Mexico kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in March 1985. Officially, Red Ribbon Week is celebrated nationally from October 23-31; however, communities and school districts nationwide hold events throughout the month.

The Red Ribbon campaign is dedicated to helping to preserve Special Agent Camarena's memory and further the cause for which he gave his life - the fight against the violence of drug crime and the misery of addiction. By gathering together in special events and wearing red ribbons during the last week in October, Americans from all walks of life demonstrate their opposition to drugs.

Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “The red ribbon campaign was created as a symbol of intolerance to the use of drugs and as a commitment to living a drug-free, healthy lifestyle. Let’s show the world that not only Kiki’s death, but also the death of other brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to rid this country of the scourge of drug abuse, were not in vain. They sacrificed their lives for our freedom. True freedom is being drug-free.”

Red Ribbon week started as a local effort in Camarena’s hometown of Calexico, California when Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Camarena’s high school friend, Henry Lozano, created Camarena Clubs to keep KiKi’s memory alive. The National Family Partnership turned Red Ribbon Week into a national drug awareness campaign, an eight-day event proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by then President and Mrs. Reagan. The DEA Atlanta Offices will be conducting numerous Red Ribbon events throughout metropolitan Atlanta. For coverage of these programs, please contact Special Agent Chuvalo Truesdell, the Public Information Officer of the Atlanta Field Division at (404) 328-5265 or at

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at,, and Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.


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