Writer Francisco Arratia Saldierna was forced into a car by several persons on 31 August in Matamoros (in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas), tortured, and then abandoned outside the local offices of the Red Cross. He died soon afterwards from his injuries, which included a fractured skull, broken fingers, and burns and lesions to the torso and shoulders. He was an author with the Portavoz publishing house and his articles had been published in several regional newspapers.
Raúl Castelán Cruz was arrested as a suspect in the killing on 24 September after being identified by his use of Arratia’s mobile phone on three occasions. He is alleged to be a member of Zetas, a group of contract killers working for the Gulf drug-trafficking cartel. He reportedly said the motive for the murder was Arratia’s articles about drugs and organised crime. The orders for the killing may have been given by Jorge Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla, the Gulf cartel’s alleged boss.