Officials in the Mexican state of Sinaloa fear the publicity around missing Australian surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman will damage their tourism industry.
Sinaloa governor Mario Lopez Valdez and tourism secretary Francisco Cordova Celaya have vowed to find the people responsible for the Australians’ fate.
Grave fears are held for Mr Lucas and Mr Coleman after their old Chevy van, with two bodies inside, was found destroyed by fire on a dirt road in a rural area of Sinaloa.
DNA tests and dental charts are being used to identify the bodies.
“This is a bad look, we will seek to shed light on this and find those responsible,” Mr Valdez told the Proceso news website.
Sinaloa, home to the Sinaloa drug cartel headed by fugitive kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has been rife with murders, kidnappings and other violence.
Officials have battled to repair the image, although the US State Department has issued severe travel warnings for US citizens in the state.
Mr Valdez said recent events in the state were all held without problems.
“This comes up and makes us look bad, it hurts us, after the Feria Ganadera (Cattle Fair) over 18 days with no incidents, a marathon with no incidents,” he said.
Mr Lucas and Mr Coleman, went missing on November 20 while driving across Sinaloa.
The van, with Canadian number plates, was found on a dirt road near an irrigation channel with the badly charred bodies inside.
The men, both 33 and from south of Perth, had been living and working in Edmonton, Canada, and drove the van down to Mexico for a surfing safari and to catch up with Mr Coleman’s Mexican girlfriend, Andrea Gomez.
A gofundme.com /gofundme.com/> page set up to raise money to pay for family travel costs from Perth to Mexico has raised more than $50,000 in just two days.