September 27, 2022

5 charged with murder of boxer Héctor ‘Macho’ Camacho in 2012

Jesus Naranjo Adorno is transferred to the Police Headquarters after the filing of criminal charges, in San Juan on Wednesday. (Carlos Giusti/AP)

Five men have been charged with killing beloved Puerto Rican boxer Héctor “Macho” Camacho in 2012.

Camacho and a friend were gunned down while sitting in a car outside a bar in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 20, 2012. Camacho died at age 50 after being taken off life support four days later, but the case remained unsolved for nearly a decade.

William Rodríguez Rodríguez, Luis Ayala García and Joshua Méndez Romero were flown to Puerto Rico earlier in the week. The three men were serving federal sentences in Florida for unrelated crimes.

Another suspect, Juan Figueroa Rivera, was already in a Puerto Rican jail. The only suspect who had been a free man, Jesús Naranjo Adorno, was arrested before dawn at his home in Bayamón.

Cops also said two unnamed suspects were killed in separate incidents in 2013 and 2015.

Born in Bayamón, Camacho and his mother moved to Spanish Harlem when he was a child. His fast feet and quick gloves helped him rise as a boxer, and he was a three-time Daily News Golden Gloves champion.

Camacho was the man who sent Sugar Ray Leonard into retirement in 1997, and he also defeated Roberto Duran twice late in the legend’s career. He earned fights with superstars including Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez. Camacho finished his career with a record of 79-6-3 with 38 knockouts, and he was never knocked out.

But outside of the ring, Camacho struggled with drug and alcohol problems. Authorities have not publicly speculated on the motive for the killing of Camacho and his friend, Adrián Mojica Moreno, but Moreno had 10 small bags of cocaine on him.

“I’m going to tell you the truth about Macho Camacho: He was a good man, a good friend, but the drugs killed him,” Jorge Rosa, an ex-boxer who knew Camacho for decades, told the Daily News in 2012.

A documentary about Camacho’s life was released in December 2020.

“What’s so appealing about Camacho’s story is people identified with his failures,” director Eric Drath said. “He had a good soul. He was an entertainer who had the skills of a warrior.”

Camacho’s mother, Maria Matias, celebrated the work of authorities on Wednesday.

“They gave me justice,” she said. “I can sleep in peace. I can eat and drink a little cup of coffee in the morning.”