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Filed under News

Widow of DEA agent speaks about drug abuse

Husband's death inspired Red Ribbon Week

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As students viewed the presentation explaining the life and legacy of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena on the large, white screen, absolute silence filled the auditorium. Soon, his wife, Geneva “Mika” Camarena stepped the behind the podium and moved students with her testimony of loss and living a life against drugs.

The murder of Mika’s husband, Special Agent Kiki Camarena, sparked the Red Ribbon Program, which is a campaign to eradicate drug use in the United States. DEA agent Camarena was captured, tortured and killed in Guadalajara, Mexico, for burning more than two acres of marijuana. After Kiki’s death, his friends and family began wearing Red Ribbon’s in his honor. In 1988, the U.S. Senate and President declared the last week of October as National Red Ribbon Week. Miki came to speak to the school Feb. 4 so the students would know the meaning of Red Ribbon Week next year.

“When you’re in school, you’re responsible for you,” Mika said. “The choices you make are very important. If you have doubts about drugs, go to the right person.”

Mika said it took months for her to find herself.

 “When Kiki died, it was like I died with him,” Mika said. “It came at a time when I was not strong-not physically, not mentally.”

Mika’s sons were devastated upon finding out about their father’s death.

“I’ll never forget the time my son came home from elementary with “Time Magazine” with his dad on the front cover,” Mika said. “He asked me, ‘Is it true?’”

Kiki’s job made it difficult to arrive home in time for dinner, but he didn’t let that keep him from his family.

“He would wake my son up in the middle of the night when he came home so he could talk to him,” Mika said. “When he died, my oldest son stepped up and said that he was going to be the man of the house when he was 11.”

One of the hardest parts of the tragedy Mika found hard to face was the way Kiki died.

“I wanted to think he died by a gunshot,” Mika said. “No one deserves to suffer like that.”

Mika said that the way to keep tragedies like this from happening is to simply not do drugs.

“As long as there is a demand, there will be a problem,” Mika said. “Kiki has, and will continue, to make a difference.”

Mika sees the legalization of Marijuana as a slap to the face.

“I want you to remember I won’t accept that Kiki died for nothing,” Mika said. “I want you to remember that we save lives. Kiki still works through us, so stay free of drugs and make your life worth it.”

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The online newspaper of Canyon High School.
Widow of DEA agent speaks about drug abuse