Red Ribbon Week: Camarena’s story and battle against drugs

by Sofia Colignon | staff writer

Johnson High School encourages students to participate on the Spirit Week and say no to drugs.

From Oct 23 to the 27, the campus celebrated Red Ribbon Week as an awareness campaign against drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence. A Spirit Week was assembled in order to create awareness among the students about the dangers and consequences that come with saying yes to drugs.

Although it is celebrated in the United States, Red Ribbon Week actually originated in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1985, after the assassination of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena on February 7th, when five men appeared and shoved him into a car. His body was found a month later, and had evidence of torture and trauma.

In response to this cruel act, communities all over the country started wearing red ribbons as a symbol to show others the destruction and sorrow that drugs bring and as a tribute for Camarena’s battle against illegal drugs.

For more than thirty-two years, the Red Ribbon Campaign has touched millions of lives all around the world. Today, we have Red Ribbon Week to educate young adults about this subject and encourage them to participate in drug prevention activities.

Students at Johnson were encouraged to participate in the Say No To Drugs Spirit Week by dressing up like a tourist on Monday, dressing up like a nerd on Tuesday, wearing their favorite jersey on Wednesday, wearing crazy socks on Thursday, and wearing a Johnson shirt Friday to show school spirit However, even though a Spirit Week makes a lot of students get into the school spirit, it also makes them forget and lose the purpose and the reason behind it- saying no to illegal substances.

The school should incorporate other activities to create awareness among the students and community of the effects of using drugs during this week, and tell them about Camarena’s story.

If you would like more information on Red Ribbon or make a donation to their campaign, you can visit

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