News Release
October 19, 2007
For Information Contact,
Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

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

OCT 19 -- PHOENIX – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) begins its annual Red Ribbon Campaign on October 22, 2007. Together with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter, DEA representatives will work in local communities to spread a strong anti-drug message. During the campaign, more than 14,000 ribbons will be distributed to schools across the state.

“This time of year is especially important to us at the DEA,” DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Elizabeth Kempshall. “Our Agents see the devastating effects of drug use everyday and we all must do everything possible to protect this country’s most valuable asset: our children.”

Red Ribbon Week is an important tradition for the DEA. The event, which has become a national symbol of drug prevention, pays tribute to DEA hero Special Agent Enrique Camarena. Special Agent Camarena was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico, in February of 1985.

Within weeks of his death, Camarena Clubs were launched in his home town of Imperial Valley, California. In 1988, the U.S. Congress proclaimed the last week in October as National Red Ribbon Week and then-President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy, chaired the event. Approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.

Red Ribbon Week is nationally recognized and celebrated each year in the United States. It is a symbol of support for DEA’s efforts to reduce demand for illegal drugs through prevention and education programs. Red Ribbon Week pays homage to Special Agent Camarena and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in support of our nation’s struggle against drug trafficking and abuse. By wearing a red ribbon during the last week of October, Americans demonstrate their ardent opposition to illegal drug abuse and trafficking, as well as those who profit from it.

If you would like to cover one of the local Red Ribbon activities, please call Public Information Officer Ramona Sanchez or Melissa Lee (602) 664-5725 and (602) 664-5743, respectively. For more information, please go to, under Red Ribbon Events Across America.