8/31: Mexican Columnist Killed on U.S.-Mexico Border
- Columnist Killed on U.S.-Mexico Border
By RAUL LLAMAS
.c The Associated Press
NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) - Suspects beat to death a Mexican newspaper
columnist and dumped his body outside the offices of the Red Cross in the border
city of Matamoros, state police said Tuesday night.
Francisco Arratia Saldierna, 55, wrote the ``Portavoz,'' or ``Spokesman''
column, which was syndicated and appeared in several papers throughout the state
State police said unknown attackers fractured Arratia Saldierna's skull,
broke his hands and damaged his spine Tuesday afternoon before dumping him from a
moving vehicle near the intersection of Roberto Guerra and Jose Arrece
streets, not far from the Red Cross in Tamaulipas, across the border from
Word of Arratia Saldierna's death quickly spread across the Mexican side of
the border and throughout Tamaulipas, where his column was popular.
Police have made no arrests and were working to determine a motive. The
brutal slaying came just over four months after attackers killed newspaper editor
Roberto Mora in another Tamaulipas border city, Nuevo Laredo, 220 miles
northwest of Matamoros.
Mora's body was found stabbed more than 25 times on March 19 next to his
sport utility vehicle, which was parked outside his Nuevo Laredo home.
As the editorial director of Nuevo Laredo's El Manana newspaper, Mora often
published stories on the Gulf drug cartel.
In April, a judge ordered two gay men who lived in an apartment above Mora to
stand trial in his slaying.
Prosecutors claim Mora's killing was motivated by unfounded jealousy, citing
incriminating statements by Medina. But the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City sent a
diplomatic note to Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, saying one of the
suspects, a U.S. citizen named Mario Medina, may have been tortured by police
investigating the case.
08/31/04 23:54 EDT
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