In honor of Agent Camarena, Mid Valley Outpatient celebrated “Red Ribbon Week” by decorating their wall to spread awareness and education to our participants.
In response to the killing of Agent Enrique Camarena in 1985, youth in communities and people who fight to eliminate the destruction caused by drug use began wearing “Red Ribbons” as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in the United States.
Enrique (Kiki) S. Camarena was born on July 26, 1947, in Mexicali, Mexico. Kiki joined the Drug Enforcement Administration in June of 1974. His first assignment as a Special Agent with DEA was in a familiar place – Calexico, California.
In early 1985, he was believed to unlock a multi-billion-dollar drug pipeline. However, he was kidnapped on February 7, 1985 by five armed men who threw him into a car and sped away. It is believed that Special Agent Camarena’s death occurred two days later, but his body was not discovered until March 5, 1985.
In 1985, club members presented the “Camarena Club Proclamation” to then-First Lady Nancy Reagan, bringing it to national attention. Later that summer, parent groups in California, Illinois, and Virginia began promoting the wearing of red ribbons nationwide in late October.
The Red Ribbon campaign was then formalized in 1988 by the National Family Partnership, with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons.