Plunging Petroleum Prices have elevated Mexico into the position of de facto leadership of Latin American, and perhaps of other, debtor nations in their negotiations with international creditors. Once regarded as a model debtor, Mexico has emerged as forceful spokesman for debt relief. Although Mexican authorities often couch their statements concerning foreign debt repayments in conciliatory, and even contradictory, terms, the underlying fact is that Mexico's demand for some debt relief is tantamount to an unspoken repudiation of a portion of its $96 billion foreign debt. If Mexico, the world's second largest debtor, succeeds in wresting debt relief from its lenders, then it must be recognized that debtor-creditor relationships have undergone a fundamental change: political realities, not contract law, ultimately determine how debt is to be repaid, if at all. Mexico, more by circumstance than by choice, has led debtors and creditors alike into a brave new world.