Five men were charged on March 9 in a San Juan, Puerto Rico court, with the gruesome murder of boxing superstar Héctor “Macho” Camacho, ending a 10-year mystery of who shot the 50-year-old as he sat in a car outside a bar.
A three-division title winner, Camacho was shot in the face while sitting in the passenger seat of his friend’s Ford Mustang outside a bar in Bayamon, a city in northern Puerto Rico, on Nov. 20, 2012. He died four days later. His childhood friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, 49, was also murdered in the attack.
Police said Moreno had nine small bags of cocaine in his pocket and a 10th bag that was open.
Camacho was a world champion in three weight classes and competed professionally from 1980 to 2010. His murder shocked all of Puerto Rico and many who looked up to him.
Considered one of the great boxing stars of his era, Camacho was known for his speed in the ring, his unorthodox, crowd-pleasing style and his dynamic, theatrical presence.
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A police investigation involving multiple jurisdictions called “Operation Knockout” netted the five suspects. Three of them were already serving sentences in Florida for unrelated federal crimes and were been extradited to Puerto Rico, according to the Associated Press,
Another suspect was already in a Puerto Rico prison serving a sentence for a different crime. The final suspect was arrested in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the city where Camacho was killed.
Authorities said two other suspects were killed in unrelated events in 2013 and 2015, according to a New York Post report.
The suspects were identified in court as Joshua Méndez Romero, Jesús Naranjo Adorno, Luis Ayala García, Juan R. Figueroa Rivera, and Wilfredo Rodríguez Rodríguez, according to the San Juan Daily Star.
Camacho’s flamboyant theatrics in the ring and violent past helped make him the subject of several reality TV shows and documentaries.
His mother, María Matía, punched a fist into the air and exclaimed “Justice has been done!” as she walked into the courtroom where the five suspects appeared for the hearing, according to reports.
“They gave me justice,” Camacho’s mother told the AP. “I can sleep in peace. I can eat and drink a little cup of coffee in the morning.”
Former Puerto Rico boxer Víctor Callejas, a close friend of Camacho, told AP that it was extremely important to him that several suspects were finally charged in the case as he continues to mourn the fighter.
“He was not the type of person who sought enemies. To the contrary, he was always looking to make people laugh one way or another. He was a unique character.”
Photo: A man stands in front of the casket of former boxing champion Héctor “Macho” Camacho during a memorial in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Hundreds of people took pictures and filed past Camacho’s open casket displayed inside a gymnasium. The boxer wore white, along with a large gold crucifix and a necklace spelling out his nickname, “Macho,” in capital letters. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)