Mexican energy reform passes Senate

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The Mexican Senate has passed a controversial energy reform meant to revitalize the nation's flagging oil industry.

The bill now goes to the lower house.

Senators approved the bill Thursday even as riot police held back protesters demonstrating outside.

The measure would allow more private and foreign investment in the state oil monopoly known as Pemex, which has seen production sag.

Many analysts say it will do little to halt the company's slide and leftist protesters argue it is a veiled attempt to privatize the industry.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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