Governor Pataki Endorses Red Ribbon Week
On October 24, 2006 New York Governor George Pataki issued a proclamation declaring New York State’s support for Red Ribbon Week. The New York State’s Executive Chamber Proclamation encourages the Empire State to wear red ribbons and show support of a healthy, drug-free life.
Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s largest drug prevention effort, and this year marks the 21st anniversary of the anti-drug campaign, which is celebrated October 23-31. This year personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New York Field Division are visiting over forty schools throughout New York State. In addition, the following buildings and monuments will be lit in red to honor Red Ribbon Week: The Con Edison Building (Manhattan, NY), Brooklyn Borough Hall (Brooklyn, NY) The Electric Tower (Buffalo, NY), The Liberty Tower/Main Place Buildings (Buffalo, NY), KBK Federal Building (Rochester, NY) and Niagara Falls, NY.
Red Ribbon Week began after drug traffickers in Mexico kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in March 1985. The Red Ribbon 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.
Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division, John P. Gilbride stated “As a law enforcement officer working to rid drugs from the street and as a parent of two children, drug awareness is one of the most important steps we can take to combat drug use throughout our communities. Red Ribbon week is a week devoted to increasing our citizens knowledge of the dangers associated with drug use as well as paying homage to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the fight against drug trafficking, like our brother, Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.”
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) 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.