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BOXING

Justice for Hector “Macho” Camacho

Almost a decade after the brutal murder of the boxing legend, five men are arrested and charged bringing closure for the family of Hector Camacho

Update:
Almost a decade after the brutal murder of the boxing legend, five men are arrested and charged bringing closure for the family of Hector Camacho

In a courtroom Wednesday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, five men were charged with the shocking murder of the three-division champ and his childhood friend Adrián Mojica Moreno, ending a decade long search for meaning in this senseless tragedy.

In November 2012, Camacho and Moreno were shot while sitting in a Ford Mustang outside the Azuquita bar in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Camacho, who was 50 at the time of the shooting, was rushed to a hospital in San Juan but died four days later. Mojica was killed instantly and police discovered nine bags of cocaine in his pockets, with another found open inside the car.

Jesús Naranjo, 35; Joshua Méndez, 30; Juan Figueroa; Luis Ayala, 31; and Wilfredo Rodríguez are facing conspiracy and first-degree murder charges. Rodríguez, Ayala and Méndez also face charges for possessing and firing a firearm, money laundering and organized crime.

Three of the five, Naranjo, Méndez, and Rodríguez were extradited to Puerto Rico from Orlando, Florida, where they were in prison for unrelated crimes. A fourth, Ayala, remains in a Puerto Rican jail for a previous offense and the fifth, Figueroa, was arrested at his home in Bayamón.

Their bail has been set at between $300,000 and $1 million. While the public prosecutor said that she was not able to reveal the motive behind the killings, the arrests bring tremendous consolation to the Camacho 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 unbelievable hand speed and brash, flamboyant personality, Camacho was one of the most popular figures in boxing throughout the 1980s. A precursor to fighters such as Prince Naseem Hamed, Camacho was as much showman as pugilist. He would toy with his opponents, spin them and almost effortlessly score the win.

Camacho (79-6-3, 38 KOs) was a world champion in three weight classes. He held the WBC super featherweight, the WBC lightweight, and the WBO junior welterweight title twice. He fought some of the biggest names in boxing history, defeating Roberto Durán twice and ending Sugar Ray Leonard’s career with a knockout.

He also fought Julio César Chávez, Félix Trinidad, and Oscar De La Hoya in a career that spanned 88 total fights and nearly 30 years.

“Impunity has no place in the new Department of Justice,” Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice, Domingo Hernández, said in a statement. “If you committed a crime, rest assured that we are coming for you.”

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