The Mexican highway where Australian surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman are believed to have gone missing is notorious for gangs preying on motorists.
Miguel Calderon Quevedo, mayor of the city of Navolato near where Mr Coleman’s burnt out Chevrolet van containing two bodies was dumped, says the Benito Juarez Highway is rife with robberies.
It is believed Mr Lucas and Mr Coleman were travelling south on the highway on November 20.
The old blue and white Chevy, with Alberta, Canada number plates and a bicycle attached to the back, would have stood out.
“On the toll road there have been several events that have been documented,” the mayor told Excelsior.com.
Mexican authorities are waiting for DNA taken from family members of the missing men in Australia to match it with samples from the bodies found in the torched van.
The testing could take more than a week.
“My understanding is the test of the relative’s samples will be done over there (Australia) and they will send the results to Mexico to compare to our results,” Guadalupe Martinez, spokesman for Sinaloa state’s attorney general, told AAP.
Mexican authorities, concerned about the damage the incident could have on tourism in Mexico, are under pressure to find and arrest anyone involved in the disappearance.
Mr Lucas and Mr Coleman, 33, from Perth, had been living in Canada and drove down to Mexico to surf and visit Mr Coleman’s girlfriend, Andrea Gomez.