The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City kidnapped, tortured and murdered Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, a DEA agent, in 1985. Friends and neighbors in his hometown of Calexico, Calif., began the continuing tradition of wearing and displaying red ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs and to continue his fight against illegal drugs.
The National Family Partnership (NFP) created a national campaign of observance, an eight-day event proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by then President and Mrs. Reagan. The purpose of the campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a drug-free America. Approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.
The Red Ribbon Campaign will have its 20th anniversary and is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23 through Oct. 31, each year. By gathering together in special events and wearing a Red Ribbon, Americans from all walks of life demonstrate their opposition to drugs.
According to DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy, "Even though 20 years have passed, Kiki Camarena continues to inspire the nation to this day. Since then, American kids have taken up the banner Kiki inspired - the Red Ribbons they proudly wear every October. Because of Kiki, millions of children in big cities and small towns have taken a stand against drugs: pledging that drugs are not - and never will be - part of their lives."
Red Ribbon celebrations are planned throughout the United States during the month of October. For news about events scheduled in your areas, please check the web at www.dea.gov. For scheduled events at the county schools look on page 3B.
Wear your Red Badge proudly and have the courage to say no to drugs!!!