MEXICO: Padilla Out

Stalwart Ezequiel Padilla, Mexico's Foreign Minister since 1940, resigned last week as the result of a campaign of backstage intrigue and a storm of public criticism. Rivals within the Mexican foreign service, notably Francisco Castillo Najera, Ambassador to the U.S., had long been gunning for 6-ft., spruce Ezequiel, sometimes called "the black Narcissus" because of his darkish skin and elegant attire. Other political opponents may have undermined him with President Avila Camacho, hoping to head him off as a candidate in next year's presidential election.

These maneuvers were on the quiet. Far from quiet...