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National Red Ribbon Week   PDF  Print  Email 

The annual celebration of national Red Ribbon Week starts the last week in October, with communities and students across America committing themselves to living drug-free lives.

It is very appropriate for the men and women of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to join with other Americans to support the dreams and goals of our children during Red Ribbon Week, and to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena on our behalf.

National Red Ribbon Week serves as a tribute to Special Agent Kiki Camarena, who was kidnapped and brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico. This tragic event produced an immediate outpouring of grief, but over time has generated a sense of hope across America.

That hope is being kept alive through the hard work of thousands of Americans ---particularly our young people---who participate in Red Ribbon Week events during the last week in October. This tradition is stronger than ever today, as an increasing number of Americans are saying “yes” to a drug-free life.

Red Ribbon Week is the most far-reaching and well-known drug prevention event in America. The National Family Partnership, which coordinates Red Ribbon activities nationally, estimates that over 80 million Americans participate in Red Ribbon events.

It’s also a chance for DEA to show our support for citizens throughout the United States who support our efforts to keep communities free from the ravages of drug trafficking and drug abuse.

Please join me this week in wearing a Red Ribbon to affirm our commitment to drug prevention and education, and to honor the memory of Kiki Camarena.

I also ask you to take time to talk to your families, your neighbors and your communities about living a drug-free lifestyle.

I am also asking supervisors to encourage their employees to spread this message of hope with their childrens’ schools, their churches and synagogues, and businesses in their communities. Employees may obtain materials and ribbons from Demand Reduction at Headquarters, and from Demand Reduction coordinators in DEA Field Divisions.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to send a clear and unequivocal message that drugs damage lives---whether it is through lost productivity, unfulfilled dreams, drugged driving incidents, or addiction.

And it’s a chance for us to show that Kiki Camarena’s spirit---and hope for a drug-free America---can never be extinguished.

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