Like the island nation, the families touched by its dizzying array of violence face an uncertain future in which justice is by no means guaranteed. “Death, jail, drugs, killings. That’s what the streets are now,” said Hector Camacho Jr. after his father’s fatal shooting.

Figueroa recently received two years’ probation as punishment for watching a cop kill her son. Her other son, Adrian—who still has a bullet buried in his collarbone—accepted a deal of three years in prison in order to avoid a life behind bars.

On Feb. 27, David Bonilla Fernández strolled into San Juan’s central courthouse in a white polo, spiky hair, and a face free of emotion. Cops were waiting for him. Five days earlier, they had distributed photos of Bonilla and three others surrounding Ramos moments before his murder at the SanSe Festival. Prosecutors had charged Bonilla in absentia, and the scrawny 24-year-old had arrived to turn himself in.

AK-47 bullet casings at a triple murder scene in Canovanas, east of San Juan.
Michael E. Miller
AK-47 bullet casings at a triple murder scene in Canovanas, east of San Juan.
Hector Pesquera, former head of the FBI's Miami office, oversees the much-maligned Puerto Rico Police Department.
Michael E. Miller
Hector Pesquera, former head of the FBI's Miami office, oversees the much-maligned Puerto Rico Police Department.

Bonilla hasn’t confessed and the video evidence against him is thin. Unless terrified witnesses can be convinced to testify, a jury will likely let him off. In fact, Bonilla could be strolling around free even earlier. On Nov. 4, Puerto Rican voters rejected an amendment that would have revoked the automatic right of accused criminals to bond out. So if Bonilla can come up with $120,000, he will walk.

Even that limited amount of justice eludes the family of Hector Camacho. Police called two men in for questioning in December, but have not made any arrests. The murder of Puerto Rico’s greatest boxer has yet to be solved. Instead, it’s now the entire island of Puerto Rico that is locked in the fight of its life.

“Death, jail, drugs, killings,” said Hector Camacho Jr., before his father’s funeral. “That’s what the streets are now.”

“In reality, all of San Juan is hot,” confesses Angel Martinez as he cruises away from the funeral home shooting toward the next bloody crime scene.

“If you’re a criminal you’ll do anything because you know you’ll never be caught,” says Sujeylee Ramos.

It wasn’t a robber or a drug dealer tearing apart Figueroa’s family on April 27, though. The barrel she was starting down was government-issued. Her son’s killer was a cop.

“We are not going to arrest our way out of our murder problem,” Pesquera says. “We need help fighting the flow of drugs. That’s what’s killing us.”

“Death, jail, drugs, killings,” said Hector Camacho Jr., before his father’s funeral. “That’s what the streets are now.”

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