Red Ribbon Week, October 23 -31, 2017
Every year, young people from across the nation participate in Red Ribbon Week, a celebration of their commitment to stay drug-free! Find out how your school or youth group can participate and share your success with everyone!
History: Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. By wearing red and participating in community anti-drug events, people pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.
Special Agent Camarena was an 11-year veteran of the DEA. He was assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico office where he worked to stop some of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers.
On February 7, 1985, Kiki was kidnapped and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the scope of the international drug trade. Shortly after Agent Camarena’s death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Kiki’s high school friend, Henry Lozano, launched “Camarena Clubs” in Kiki’s hometown of Calexico, California. Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifice made by Kiki Camarena.
These pledges were delivered to First Lady Nancy Reagan at a national conference of parents combating youth drug use. Several state parent organizations then called on community groups to wear red ribbons during the last week of October as a symbol of their drug-free commitment.