A police chief in the border city of Nuevo Laredo goes missing after his brothers turn up dead. Early evening explosions in front of a government building in the capital of Tamaulipas state injure three people. In the state of Durango, the businesses of a mayor’s family are burned days after her home is attacked by gunmen.

As Mexico’s new government continues to fine-tune its public safety plan, distressingly familiar acts of criminality continue unabated, as seen in headlines that have dominated newspapers this week.

The continuing stream of bad and bloody news presents a challenge for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office Dec. 1 and is hoping to shift the world’s attention away from Mexico’s scourge of violence to focus more on the country’s growing economy.

In January, according to the federal government, the country witnessed 1,104 homicides linked to organized crime. The newspaper Reforma notes that 1,808 such slayings have taken place since Peña Nieto’s swearing-in. In some states, fed-up locals have donned ski masks and taken up arms; these “self protection” groups have taken it upon themselves to round up suspected criminals, set up roadblocks and enforce curfews.

For the time being, many Mexicans appear willing to give the new administration time to solve what they consider the country’s No. 1 problem. In a poll of 1,000 adults conducted this month by the Mexico City newspaper El Universal, 56% of respondents said they approved of Peña Nieto’s job thus far.

Respondents also ranked “insecurity and crime” as the most urgent issue facing the country, ahead of unemployment and poverty.

via New government, old problems as Mexico suffers from criminality – latimes.com.