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Justice for Hector Camacho

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New York – I have visited the gravesite of the late Hector Camacho numerous times at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx which is a five minute drive from my home. I have been there and always said a prayer that justice be served to those responsible for his muder a decade ago in the northern city of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

In December, I visited the area on a corner outside a bar where Camacho was shot by one or more perpetrators a decade ago. Then, I also said a prayer and hoped there would be justice granted to Camacho and his family.

It was the end of a legacy then, though, Camacho, perhaps the greatest champion to hail from Puerto Rico, hung up his gloves many years earlier. The three time world champion was flamboyant in the ring, quick, and knew how to throw a punch that earned the name “Macho” Camacho.

So many years later, I continued to document the Hector Camacho legacy. A book was in the works as told with his son Hector Jr, but that never came to fruition, however I learned more about the legacy. I learned about how significant the name of Hector Camacho is to the people of Puerto Rico.

Wednesday afternoon, in a room at the Department of Justice in San Juan, a half hour or so from the site where Camacho was fatally shot in November of 2012, five suspects were arrested and faced with murder charges.

The suspects bowed their heads and were heavily guarded. Camacho was well loved in Puerto Rico, also in the boxing community. Over the past few years, I learned the fallen champion was admired and did not have enemies.

It has always been assumed he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he was not the intended target.

Three of the suspects were serving federal sentences for unrelated crimes and were flown in from Florida in a situation that police called “Operation Knockout.” A fourth suspect was arrested in the pre-dawn hours in Bayamon after police surrounded his house. A fifth suspect remains in Puerto Rico. in prison with another case.

Prosecutors said a motive has yet to be determined. However,they said every stone has been turned with various and reliable tips that led to this day of justice.

For several days after the shooting, Camacho was on life support. A distraught family including his mother decided to pull the plug and transported the body to New York where a memorable funeral procession was held in the streets of East Harlem before burial at St. Raymond’s

“Justice, Justice,” Camacho’s mother said in a broken voice holding up her fists at the proceedings hours after the suspects were charged. “They gave me justice. I can sleep in peace. I can eat and drink a little cup of coffee in the morning.”

And the boxing world along with tons of Hector Camacho fans received justice for their great champion resting in peace.

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer Comment:Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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