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IFEX members have condemned the killing of Mexican newspaper columnist Francisco Arratia Saldierna, who was beaten to death by unidentified assailants in the northern border city of Matamoros on 31 August 2004.

PROBIDAD, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontierès, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) are calling for an immediate investigation into Arratia's murder.

Mexican news reports said a group of individuals went to Arratia's car dealership and had an argument with him. Shortly after, Arratia was heading home when he was abducted by the group. He was brutally tortured. His body was dumped outside the offices of the Red Cross and he died several hours later in hospital.

Arratia, 55, wrote a column called "Portavoz" ("Spokesman") for four newspapers in the state of Tamaulipas - "El Imparcial," "El Regional," "Mercurio" and "El Cinco." He wrote often about organised crime, political corruption and education. He was also a schoolteacher and operated a used car business.

More than 200 journalists from across Mexico have written a letter to President Vicente Fox calling for the federal government to ensure the safety of journalists working along the country's borders. They say federal authorities should have jurisdiction in crimes against journalists (see:

Visit these links:

- IFJ:
- CPJ:
- RSF Report on Mexico:
- Centro de Periodismo y Ética Pública:

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