Five men were charged Wednesday in a Puerto Rico court for the 2012 murder of boxing great Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho.
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.
New York-born Camacho was in Puerto Rico with his childhood friend, Adrián Mojica, on November 20, 20212, when they visited the Azuquita bar in Bayamón.
He was sitting in his Mustang outside the bar when a group of men opened fire.
Camacho, a flamboyant, three-time division champion, was shot in the face and rushed to a San Juan hospital. He was pronounced dead four days later after he was disconnected from life-support.
Mojica died at the scene of the shooting. His body was found lying next to his car.
A decade later, and his family are finally seeing justice as his alleged killers appeared in court.
“They gave me justice,” said Camacho’s mother, María Matías said. “I can sleep in peace. I can eat and drink a little cup of coffee in the morning.”
Naranjo, Méndez and Rodríguez had to be extradited to the island from Orlando, Florida, where they were serving sentences for unrelated crimes. They arrived late Tuesday.
Luis Ayala was already in a Puerto Rico prison due to a previous conviction.
Figueroa was taken into custody Wednesday after police raided his home in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
‘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.
Authorities in Puerto Rico say they are close to solving the November 2012 murder of Puerto Rico boxing great Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho. Five suspects who were allegedly involved in the killing of Camacho and his childhood friend, Adrián Mojica, made their initial court appearances Wednesday and were charged with conspiracy and first-degree murder
Jesús Naranjo (left) and Joshua Méndez (right) are two of the five suspects who have been charged for the November 2012 murder of the flamboyant Puerto Rican boxing legend Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho and Adrián Mojica. The two suspects, who were being held in a U.S. mainland prisons, were extradited to Puerto Rico on Tuesday
Wilfredo Rodríguez was arrested in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday in connection to the murder of Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho
Luis Ayala is one of the five suspects who were charged Wednesday with the 2012 murder of Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho and his friend Adrián Mojica
Bail was set for Figueroa at $1 million. Rodríguez, Méndez Ayala each have $800,000 bail bonds. Naranjo’s bail is for $300,000.
Joshua Méndez’s twin brother Sebastián Méndez and another man, Alberto Weir Rivera, were also implicated in the murder, but were killed in separate incidents before it came to trial.
‘We know that this case shook the country because as a result of these events, a glory of Puerto Rican boxing, Macho Camacho, died,’ chief prosecutor, Jessika Correa González, said. ‘The clarification of this case in some way does justice to those mothers who have cried out for so many years that the death of their children not go unpunished.’
Former world boxing champion Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho is taken by paramedics inside a medical facility in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on November 20, 2012
Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho (right) delivers a blow to Julio César Chávez during their September 12, 1992 main event bout in Las Vegas
Authorities have maintained that Mojica was the intended target of the assailants, who were contracted to rob him of several kilos of cocaine that were inside his car and kill him, too.
Investigators, at the time of the killings, recovered nine bags of cocaine from Mojica’s pockets and another one from his car.
Naranjo and Méndez were placed in police custody several days after the murders.
They were allegedly seen riding in a Jeep Commander that was spotted near the site of the shooting.
The Bayamón district attorney’s office did not charge both men men because a witness refused to cooperate and moved from the Puerto Rico to Maryland.
However, a witness has now stepped forward to help solve Camacho’s murder, a law enforcement agent told DailyMail.com.
Defense lawyers said during Wednesday’s hearings that the witness in question is serving a jail sentence.
Prosecutor Liz López declined to confirm or deny if the key witness is a convict.
The five suspects could face up to life in prison if they are convicted.
Héctor ‘Machito’ Camacho Jr. traveled to Puerto Rico for the hearing after distancing himself from the investigation while his mother and grandmother kept pressure on local authorities.
‘They are working as if (it is) a new case. I thank them,’ Camacho Jr. told reporters Wednesday. ‘At first I did not have much faith in the case … let’s go forward now.’
Camacho Jr., who followed his legendary father’s footsteps, told El Vocero that he hopes the arrests and eventual convictions will bring closure to his family.
‘This will give my grandmother a little peace of mind,’ he said. ‘Some people have been arrested, but tomorrow they will kill others. Who stops them? They continue to kill in the streets and we are not achieving anything. It’s the same s***.’
Camacho rose to fame in the late 1970s in the New York City amateur boxing scene before he took over the professional boxing scene in the 1980s, winning titles in the super featherweight, lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.
The star boxer had several brushes with the law away from the ring, most notably a January 6, 2005, burglary arrest in Gulfport, Mississippi. Camacho pleaded guilty in 2007, admitting he was under the influence at the time of the crime.
Despite a seven-year sentence, the judge reduced Camacho’s punishment to one year and released him on probation. He then violated the terms of the deal and spent two weeks in prison.
Camacho was nearly killed near a San Juan housing project February 12, 201 when carjackers opened fired but missed each of their three shots.