The family of beloved boxing icon Hector Camacho can now finally let out a sigh of relief.
In a courtroom Wednesday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, five men were charged with the shocking murder of the three-division titlist and his childhood friend Adrián Mojica Moreno, bringing some semblance of closure to a tragedy whose perpetrators remained a mystery for nearly 10 years.
In November 2012, Camacho was shot in the face while sitting in a Ford Mustang outside a bar in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, his birthplace. The bullet traveled through the left side of Camacho’s face and fractured his vertebrae. He was rushed to a hospital in San Juan but died four days later after he was disconnected from life-support. Camacho was 50. Mojica was killed on the spot and discovered to have nine bags of cocaine in his pocket, while a 10th was found open in the car.
According to the Associated Press, Camacho’s mother walked into the San Juan courtroom, raised her right fist and shouted, “Justice! Justice has been done!”
Three of the five suspects – Jesús Naranjo Adorno, 35; Joshua Méndez Romero, 30; and William Rodríguez – were extradited to Puerto Rico from a prison in Orlando, Florida, where they were serving time for unrelated crimes. A fourth suspect, Luis Ayala García, 31, remains imprisoned in a Puerto Rican jail for a previous offense. A fifth suspect, Juan Figueroa Rivera, was arrested at his home in Bayamon, the same city where Camacho was born and killed.
Rodríguez, García, and Romero are being held on an $800,000 bond. Adorno's bond is set at $300,000 bond, while Rivera’s is set at $1 million.
Jessika Parra, a public prosecutor, told the AP she was not able to reveal the motive behind the killings.
The round-up of the suspects brought tremendous consolation to Camacho’s family.
"They gave me justice," Camacho's mother, María Matía, told the AP. "I can sleep in peace. I can eat and drink a little cup of coffee in the morning."
Known for his dazzling hand speed and brash personality, Camacho, who went by the moniker “Macho,” was one of the most electrifying sporting figures throughout the 1980s, and whose gaudy sensibility seemed like a perfect personification of the hell-raising ethos of that era. A bonafide fistic talent, Camacho had near-unparalleled hand speed, conjuring up comparisons to Sugar Ray Leonard. He often toyed with his opponents, spinning them around. The flashy descendant of the slums of New York’s Spanish Harlem was a headline-generating machine in the 1980s and ‘90s and often donned ostentatious outfits, like leopard-skin trunks or the garb of a Roman gladiator.
Camacho (79-6-3, 38 KOs) began his career in 1980 and won his first title, the WBC junior lightweight belt, in 1983, against Rafael Limon. Two years later, in 1985, he would become a two-weight world champion by beating José Luis Ramírez for the WBC lightweight strap. Camacho became a three-weight world champion in 1989, when he defeated Ray Mancini by split decision to win the WBO junior welterweight title.