News Release
October 21, 2010
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 21
PHOENIX – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) begins its annual Red Ribbon Campaign on October 25, 2010. DEA representatives will work in local communities to spread a strong anti-drug message. During the campaign, more than 15,000 ribbons will be distributed to schools across the state.

“This time of year is especially important to us at the DEA,” said Phoenix Special Agent-in-Charge Elizabeth Kempshall. “Our Agents see the devastating effects of drug use every day and we as an Agency 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 “Kiki” Camarena. Special Agent Camarena was abducted by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico, in February of 1985 and was subsequently tortured and murdered.

Within weeks of his death, Camarena Clubs were launched in his home town of Imperial Valley in California. In 1988, the U.S. Congress proclaimed the last week in October as the 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. This year we are remembering Kiki as we mark the 25 th anniversary of this death. 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 at (602) 664-5725. For more information, please go to or

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