News Release
October 17, 2007

DEA Kicks-Off 2007 Red Ribbon Campaign
Thousands display red ribbons announcing their commitment to say no to illegal drugs

OCT 17 -- (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The National Red Ribbon Campaign has kicked off its twenty-second 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 will be celebrated nationally from October 23-31; however, several communities and school districts 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 a Red Ribbon during the last week in October, Americans from all walks of life demonstrate their opposition to drugs.

“For the past 22 years, October has been the time to paint the nation red to show solidarity in the fight against drug abuse and to remember a DEA hero, Special Agent Enrique Camarena,” said Administrator Karen P. Tandy. “From Niagra Falls to the Basketball Hall of Fame, countless iconic public spaces will be decked in red, and thousands of schoolchildren will wear red ribbons to signify their pledge to remain drug –free. Red Ribbons have become a powerful symbol of supporting our children and helping them make this important choice for their future and the future of our nation.”

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 ensure fond memories of Kiki. The National Family Partnership (NFP),, created a national campaign of observance, which starts the third week of October each year, proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by then President and Mrs. Reagan. Approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.

For news about events scheduled in your areas, please check the web at or contact your local DEA Office. For any further national information, contact the DEA Office of Public Affairs in Washington, DC at 202-307-7977.