News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2007
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
404-893-7124

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

OCT 19 -- (Atlanta, GA.) – 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 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.

SAC Rodney G. Benson, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated “The red ribbon campaign was created as a symbol of intolerance to the use of drugs and as a commitment to living a drug-free, healthy lifestyle. Let’s show the world that not only Kiki’s death, but also the death of other brave men and women were not in vain. They sacrificed their lives for our freedom. True freedom is being drug-free.”

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), www.nfp.org, 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 www.dea.gov 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.