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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
October 3, 2005

20th Anniversary of Red Ribbon Campaign
DEA, Kiki Camarena’s Sister highlight event at Sacramento Elementary School

A student at Hubert Bancroft Elementary School in Sacramento signs a pledge to remain drug free as Jack O'Connell, California's Dept. of Education Superintendent looks on.
A student at Hubert Bancroft Elementary School in Sacramento signs a pledge to remain drug free as Jack O'Connell, California's Dept. of Education Superintendent looks on.

SACRAMENTO, CA – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Javier F. Peña and Sacramento District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gordon D. Taylor will kickoff Red Ribbon Month at the Hubert Bancroft Elementary School in Sacramento, on Tuesday October 4, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.

October 2005 marks the 20th anniversary of Red Ribbon Week, which is celebrated across the nation from October 23 – 31. Red Ribbon Week began after the March 1985 torture and brutal murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena by drug traffickers in Mexico. Camarena Clubs were launched in “Kiki’s” hometown of Calexico, CA by Congressman Duncan Hunter and Camarena’s high school friend Henry Lozano. That fall, students at Kiki’s high school began wearing Red Ribbons in his memory, a practice that was observed statewide the following October.

This event at Hubert Bancroft Elementary School titled “Partnering with Families” will be attended by Partnership for Drug Free America, California Department of Education, Californians for Drug-Free Youth, California Parent Teacher Association, Friday Night Live and Myrna Camarena, Kiki’s siter.

“Kiki Camarena’s memory is an inspiration to the nation. Kiki gave his life 20 years ago to protect Americans from drug traffickers and keep us safer. Every October children across America pay tribute to Kiki as they proudly wear Red Ribbons. Please join me in wearing a Red Ribbon to pay homage not only to Special Agent Camarena, but to all men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of our nation’s struggle against drug trafficking and abuse,” stated SAC Javier Peña.

The Partnership for Drug Free America (PDFA), Partnering with Families Campaign is being utilized to take the message about being drug free beyond schools into families. PDFA researchers found that kids who learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents are up to half as likely to use drugs. In addition, only 32% of kids learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents.

This year every elementary and middle school Parent Teacher Association is being provided tools to help parents and children to talk to each other about the dangers of drugs. The schools have been provided with tools for teachers to incorporate information on drug abuse to utilize in their classrooms. Accompanying these tools is a pledge for parents and children to sign, demonstrating their commitment and willingness to take the time to talk about making the choice to be drug-free.

Red Ribbon Week is dedicated to helping 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.

If you have questions or need further information about Red Ribbon events in the San Francisco Field Division contact DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry at (415) 436-7994.


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