Red Ribbon runners promote healthy, drug-free lifestyle
On September 11, runners from tribes across New Mexico converged at a crossroad on the state fairgrounds as an American flag waved above them in the afternoon breeze.
They were the last runners of hundreds who started running on September 2 as far north as Farmington and as far east as Alamo Navajo as part of the 24th annual Multicultural Red Ribbon Relay Run.
They joined hundreds of others to honor the fallen heroes, many who were law enforcement officers, killed or injured this same day in 2001 when the United States was attacked by terrorists.
The very first Red Ribbon relay run honored another fallen hero who also fought to protect his community, Enrique (Kiki) Camarena Salazar, an undercover agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who was tortured and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers in the mid 1980’s.
To recognize his sacrifice, students at the high school he attended began wearing red ribbons, which caught the attention of then Governor Bruce King. Reaching out to Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah, the relay began with Navajo runners.
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