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While representing the United States in Mexico, Special Agent Enrique "kiki" Camarena became the center of the most heinous acts ever committed in the history of international law enforcement.

Kiki's investigations led to the discovery of a multi-million dollar drug operation. Successful eradication of this and other drug production operations angered cartel leaders. In retaliation, they abducted Kiki. He was interrogated and tortured. A doctor kept him alive so drug traffickers could audio record their brutal interrogation, demanding DEA operational information.

Nearly 30 days after his abduction, kiki's lifeless body was found on a ranch in Angostura, Mexico. A well-orchestrated covr-up by Mexican law enforcement officials surrounded this crime.

The tragedy that followed kiki's abduction was widely reported throughout the United States. His story was featured in national periodicals and books, including Desperados by Elaine Shannon and O Plata O Plomo? Silver or Lead? by James Kuykendall. It also resulted in an NBC mini-series entitled Drug Wars: The Camarena Story.

Kiki's murder sparked a grassroots campaign to help reduce drug abuse and encourage healthy, violence-free lifestyles. In kiki's hometown of Calexico, CA, there was overwhelming community response. People wore red ribbons in kiki's memory.

Special Agent Kiki Camarena gave his life in the line of duty because he was determined to make a difference. Kiki's life-size bronze bust is a representative memorial to all our nation's fallen heroes in the war against drug abuse.


The events surrounding Special Agent "Kiki" Camarena's murder sparked a grass roots campaign to reduce the demand for drugs and encourage a healthy, violence-free lifestyle across the United States. Saddened by Kiki's death, his friends, family and people in the hometown of Calexico, California began wearing Red Ribbons in his honor. This raised the consciousness of the destruction caused by drugs.

Congressman Duncan Hunter and high school teacher David Dhillon launched "Camarena Clubs" in California high schools. Club members pledged to lead lives free from drug abuse to honor the sacrifices made by Kiki and others on behalf of all Americans. In 1985, club members presented the "Camarena Club Proclamation" to then First Lady Nancy Reagan, bringing it national attention. Later that summer, parent groups in California, Illinois, and Virginia began promoting the wearing of Red Ribbons nationwide during late October.

In 1988, the National Family Partnership organized the first National Red Ribbon Week, an eight-day event proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by President and Mrs. Reagan.

Today the Red Ribbon Campaign symbolizes support for efforts to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs. Each year from October 23rd to October 31st thousands of schools, communities and drug abuse prevention organizations throughout the country distribute red ribbons to honor Special Agent Camarena's memory and visibly show a dedication to avoid drug abuse.

Why October 23-31?

October 1988 - U.S. Senate Joint Resolution 329 became Public Law 100 - 455 by Presidential Proclamation 5883. This law designated the last week of October as National Red Ribbon Week. Since then a series of annual Congressional resolutions have reaffirmed the last week of October as Red Ribbon Week.

In October, the Rotary Clubs of West Covina, The West Covina Police and Fire Departments, City Hall, and Community Leaders kicked off National Red Ribbon Week with a Free Pancake Breakfast, booths, trackless train, bouncers, slides, and entertainment. Special Guests of the Event were the Enrique S. Camarena Educational Foundation.

The Enrique S. Camarena Educational Foundation memorializes Kiki by honoring those that have Fallen or been injured in the fight against drugs. The West Covina Rotary Clubs were honored to have Enrique Jr [son], and Mika Camarena [widow] join us in our celebration of Kiki and our rally to keep the local kids off drugs. Highlights of their West Covina visit can be found on their website http://camarenafoundation.org.

On behalf of the entire West Covina Community, we want to thank the Camarena Foundation for attending our event and helping us educate the youth about the dangers of drugs.