In a first, Mexico's Senate on Apr. 9 refused to grant President Vicente Fox permission to take a foreign trip. Such requests are traditionally granted automatically. Fox had planned to meet with Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and Canada to highlight his efforts to secure better working conditions. But opposition senators complained Fox is spending too much time outside Mexico and getting too close to the Bush Administration.
The surprise move is a sign that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)--Mexico's former ruling party--is regaining its strength after electing new leaders in March. The party had been left rudderless after losing the presidency in 2000. If Fox doesn't take decisive steps to woo the opposition, he may not win approval for key reforms before mid-term elections in 2003. EDITED BY Edited by Rose Brady