Yesterday, Mexican authorities announced that three men, described as low-level drug dealers, had been arrested in connection with the suspected murders of Aussie surfers Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas.

Though the two bodies found in a burned-out van have yet to be identified, Mexican prosecutors believe that the men, who were part of a ‘highway robbery gang’, were involved in foul play.

The detained men have admitted that they wore stolen municipal police police uniforms, and “flashed police-like lights” to stop a van in which two tourists were travelling.

The men have confessed to shooting a “long-haired tourist” when he resisted their robbery attempt, before killing a second man, and driving the vehicle to another location, and setting fire to it with the two bodies inside.

Prosecutors say that the men were detained with a cache of weapons, and 124 bags of methamphetamine. Two men connected to the gang remain at large.

Lucas and Coleman, both 33, were last seen in the town of Topolobampo, in the Sinaloa region, on November 20. They were travelling south from Canada to join Coleman’s girlfriend in Guadalajara when they disappeared. 

The U.S. Council on Foreign Relations‘ Global Conflict Tracker estimates that criminal cartels, who traffic 90% of the cocaine that enters the United States, have killed 60,000 police, politicians and civilians in Mexico since 2006.

While official figures show a drop in homicides since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in 2012, the same period has seen an increase in kidnapping and extortion cases. 

via Fairfax
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