Enrique Salazar Camarena, also known as “Kiki”, was born on July 26, 1947 in Mexicali, Mexico. At the age of nine Camarena moved to the U.S. and settled in Calexico, California. He worked in the fields with his family picking plums and peaches. Camarena yearned to get a proper education and soon it came. He took advantage of this opportunity and became an ethical student. He played football, basketball and helped publish the yearbook. Camarena was voted “Best all Around Senior.”
He decided to attend college and enter the law enforcement field. Camarena served in the U.S. Marines, and became a Legal Clerk and a Court Recorder. In 1970, Camarena departed from the Marines and worked with the Calexico Fire Department. Camarena became a part of the Calexico Police Department as a Criminal Investigator in 1970, while he attended Imperial Valley College. There he got an AA degree and criminal justice degree. Camarena was sent to the El Centro, California Police Department Office and became a Narcotics Investigator for the Imperial County.
In 1874, Camarena join the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Camarena was a talented Drug Enforcement Special Agent. Camarena and family were transferred to an undercover investigation in Guadalajara, Mexico. In Guadalajara, his mission was to stop the Caro-Quintero Organization. Caro-Quintero, at the age 32, was the main leader of the wealthy organization.
Camarena was about to conclude his case when he was captured during his lunch hour. It was the afternoon of February 7, 1985 when Camarena didn’t come home so his wife contacted his close friend, who then reported the kidnapping to the U.S. law enforcement officers. There was a vast amount of law enforcement officers sent to search for Camarena. There were a lot of people worried but no one was able to find Camarena. People said that the Caro-Quintero had paid the clubs to stay quiet.
A few days later the law enforcement officers received a letter from an unknown person stating Camarena could be found at a ranch in Moreno, Mexico. When the law enforcement officers went to search the ranch they found nothing except a family that had been murdered. Later that same evening someone had stated they thought they had seen a dead body right outside the ranch. Sure enough the dead body was Camarena. He had been savagely beaten and tortured to death. The date of his death was March 7, 1985.
Till this day law enforcement officers do not know who actually murdered Camarena, but they do have their suspicions. About twenty-two people have been thought of pertaining or murdering Camarena.
Twelve had been convicted; three of which were members of the Caro-Quientero Organization. Enrique Camarena People from all around respected Camarena. On February7, 1986 Calexico held a special ceremony in honor of him at the Calexico Library. The library has also been renamed Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Library. Camarena’s family wore red ribbons to honor him. The ribbons proclaimed “No use of illegal drugs, or no illegal use of legal drugs.” Now people all over the U.S, wear red ribbons on the days of Oct. 23- 31.