Drug Enforcement Administration


Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

March 05, 2015

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (571) 362-3517

DEA Atlanta Office Observes 30th Anniversary Of Slain Special Agent

Ceremony held remembering Enrique Camarena’s ultimate sacrifice

Memorial for Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena
Memorial for Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena
Memorial for Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena

ATLANTA - March 5, 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special (SA) Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. A ceremony was held at the Atlanta Divisional Office in the DEA Training Room this morning at 11:00 a.m. for a commemoration ceremony.

Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented about the 30th anniversary, “No single event had a more significant impact on the DEA than the abduction and murder of SA Camarena. His kidnapping and violent death brought the American public face-to-face with the vicious brutality of drug trafficking. While three decades have passed since his tragic death, DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to bring to justice those who were responsible for his death and to support the Red Ribbon campaign that was inspired by his tragic loss.”


The annual Red Ribbon Week campaign was sparked by the death of SA Camarena. Within weeks of his death, several leaders and friends in Imperial Valley, California where he lived pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifices made by Camarena and others on behalf of all Americans. These “Camarena Clubs” were expanded by parent groups in California, Illinois, and Virginia which promoted the wearing of red ribbons nationwide during one week each October.

This effort continued to grow across the country, eventually leading to a proclamation that was presented to then-First Lady Nancy Reagan that brought the program national attention. In 1988, the National Federation of Parents organized the first National Red Ribbon Week, an 8-day event proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by President and Mrs. Reagan. The Red Ribbon campaign became a symbol of support for DEA’s efforts to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs. Today, the celebration is sponsored by the National Family (previously known as the Federation for Parents of Drug-Free Youth), and  millions of Americans who show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying the Red Ribbon.

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 www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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