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The body of a Sonoran journalist has been found in San Luis Rio Colorado

Another reporter has been killed in Sonora, in what has become one of the deadliest years on record for journalists in Mexico. 

Juan Arjon Lopez, 62, was found with a crushed skull in the border city of San Luis Rio Colorado.

An independent crime reporter, Arjon Lopez had been missing for nearly a week when his body was recovered by state officials Tuesday. The state attorney general says her office has not ruled out the possibility that the murder was related to his work.

Reporters like Arjon Lopez , who work and live in small communities, are particularly vulnerable to violence when they cover crime and corruption, said Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico representative with the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"They are clearly touching on the interest of very powerful and dangerous people and they are very easily identifiable because they live in the communities they report on," he said.

Dramatic violence in several Mexican cities last week are evidence that the Mexican government appears to be loosing control in some areas of the country, Hootsen said, including parts of Sonora like San Luis Rio Colorado, where violence has been on the rise.

As that violence grows, journalists' work becomes increasingly dangerous, particularly because little has been done to protect them, he said.

"It’s the very tragic but also very logical consequence of many, many years of neglect by the Mexican state," he said.

At least 12 journalists have been killed in Mexico this year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Though some groups put the toll as high as 17.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.