TCRLA_Public/030221.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                   L A T I N   A M E R I C A

           Friday, February 21, 2003, Vol. 4, Issue 37


A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Downplays Competition Risk from Tobago Express


AT&T LATIN AMERICA: Retains Greenhill as Financial Adviser


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Ex-CFO Charged With Tax Evasion


NET SERVICOS: Announces Mixed 4Q02 Sales Results
* World Bank Negotiating on US$505 Million Brazil Loan Deal


COEUR D'ALENE: Chile, Argentina Mines Critical to Success
CERJ: Enersis Increases Stake Following Recent Capitalization


AZTECA: Subsidiary Dividend Needed to Meet Debt Obligations
CFE: Mexicali II Project Attracting Bids Despite Odds
CFE: Copalar Work Plan Presented To Hydrocopalar Midamerica
SATMEX: Cuts Costs, Trims Workforce To Meet Debt Payments

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Won Case Filed By Former Pilot
CARONI: Over 9,000 Workers Receive VESP Offers


* Uruguay May Obtain More Funds to Close Funding Gap


CANTV: Records $2M Loss In 4Q02 On Slumping Revenues
CITGO: Delays Corpus Christi Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Project
SINCOR: Operations To Resume This Weekend

     - - - - - - - - - -

A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Downplays Competition Risk from Tobago Express
Antigua-based airline LIAT says it is not in danger of having to
face significant competition from Tobago Express. A report by the
Trinidad Guardian quoted Tobago Express general manager Nelson
Tom Yew denying that they have plans of operating in direct
competition with LIAT.

The official also said that the Tobago Express has no plans of
becoming a regional carrier like LIAT, or the Caribbean Star. The
three airlines all have de Havilland Dash-8 twin-propeller
aircrafts in their fleet.

An earlier report by the Antigua Sun said that the Tobago Express
has applied to St. Vincent aviation authorities for a license to
operate in the Port of Spain - St. Vincent route, which is in
direct competition with LIAT. The report also said that Tobago
Express had applied to the St Vincent aviation authorities to
operate scheduled flights from Port-of-Spain to St Vincent.

Mr. Yew said that he has not seen the article, but said the
report was not true.

The Tobago Express admitted operating charter flights to Grenada,
but denied that it had plans to compete with LIAT. Mr. Yew said,
"We are not operating scheduled flights to Grenada. We have
operated a charter or two. It is a question of incremental

Mr. Yew also said the charters have no negative impact on its
operations on the Tobago Airbridge. The Tobago Express deploys
about 12 to 16 flights between Trinidad and Tobago daily, the
most frequent in the country.

"Tobago Express is committed to serve the (Tobago) airbridge,
"declared Mr. Yew.

Asked if the charters have any negative affect on the carrier's
operation on the Tobago airbridge, Tom Yew said,

The Trinidad Guardian mentioned that the Antigua Sun is owned by
American billionaire Allen Stanford who also owns Caribbean Star,
an intra-regional airline, which competes with Tobago Express on
the Tobago airbridge.

Troubled Trinidadian airline BWIA owns 29 percent of LIAT, and 49
percent of the Tobago Express. BWIA is LIAT's biggest single

CONTACT:  LIAT Corporate Headquarters
          V.C. Bird International Airport,
          P.O. Box 819,
          St. John's, Antigua West Indies
          Tel. 1 (268) 480-5600/1/2/3/4/5/6
          Fax: 1 (268) 480-5625
          Garry Cullen, Chief Executive Officer
          David Stuart, Vice President of Marketing

          Phone: + 868 627 2942
          Home Page:
          Conrad Aleong, President and CEO (Trinidad)
          Beatrix Carrington, VP Marketing and Sales
          Paul Schutz, CFO (Trinidad)


AT&T LATIN AMERICA: Retains Greenhill as Financial Adviser
AT&T Latin America Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: ATTL.OB), announced
on Wednesday that it hired the firm Greenhill and Co. as its
financial adviser to evaluate strategic alternatives. The
significant cost reductions implemented during the fourth quarter
of 2002, and highlighted in the Company's January 7, 2003 press
release have expanded the Company's restructuring options and
generated considerable market interest. Third party inquiries are
being referred to Mike Kramer and John Liu of Greenhill.

Greenhill is regarded as a leading global investment banking firm
specializing in mergers and acquisitions and in corporate
restructuring advice.

AT&T Latin America Corp., headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a
facilities-based provider of integrated business communications
services in five countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia
and Peru. The company offers data, Internet, voice, video-
conferencing and e-business services.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Ex-CFO Charged With Tax Evasion
Former Tyco International Ltd. finance chief Mark Swartz now
faces charges of tax evasion in Concord, in addition to the
larceny and corruption charges he is facing in Manhattan. Mr.
Swartz may be sentenced a maximum of 5 years in prison and pay up
to US$250,000 in fines.

A report by the Associated Press on Tuesday said that Mr. Swartz
is accused of evading almost US$5 million in federal income taxes
by allegedly failing to indicate in his 1999 tax return a US$12.5
million bonus from Tyco. According to the indictment, the bonus
in question was the result of forgiveness for a US$12.5 debt he
owed the company.

Mr. Swartz, who is out on bail from the Manhattan case, was set
to appear in court last Tuesday for a bail hearing and scheduling
of a trial date.

Shares in Tyco fell 29 cents to $15.26 each in Wednesday trading
on the New York Stock Exchange, said the report.

Tyco International is based in Bermuda, but has headquarters in
the United States. The company manufactures a wide variety of
products, including coat hangers and telecommunications

         Corporate Office
         The Zurich Centre, Second Floor
         90 Pitts Bay Road
         Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda
         Phone: 441-292-8674
         Home Page:
         Gary Holmes (Media)
         Tel +1-212-424-1314
         Kathy Manning (Investors)
         Tel +1-603-778-9700


NET SERVICOS: Announces Mixed 4Q02 Sales Results
Sao Paulo, February 18th, 2003 - Net Servi‡os de Comunica‡ao
S.A., (Bovespa: PLIM4 and PLIM3; Nasdaq: NETC; Latibex: XNET),
the largest Pay-TV multi-service operator in Latin America, an
important provider of bi-directional broadband Internet access
(Vˇrtua) and multimedia and data communication services for
corporate networks, announced Wednesday its operating results for
the fourth quarter of 2002 (4Q02).

The following operating information, except where otherwise
indicated, is presented on consolidated bases, and comparisons
are made with the third quarter 2002 (3Q02).

- The subscriber base ended the year with 1,323.3 thousand, a
drop of 1.1% compared to 1,338.2 thousand subscribers in 3Q02 and
a 7.4% drop compared to a base of 1,428.4 thousand in the end of
2001. This result is due to lower marketing expenses and
increasing selectivity and cautiousness regarding installation

-As a result, the participation of the Advanced package in the
sales mix remained significant in the quarter, resulting in a
fairly stable subscriber mix compared to the previous quarter.
The subscriber mix improved in comparison with the end of 2001:
the Advanced package increased from 49.1% to 49.8% of total
subscribers and the Standard package fell from 10.6% to 10.1%.

- The annualized churn rate dropped from 17.9% in 3Q02 to 13.8%
in 4Q02. This decrease is due to higher selectivity of sales
adopted by the Company and actions focused on customer
satisfaction, which had significant results such as better
performance of the call center. Moreover, the retention islands
had a positive result, reverting 49% of the calls requesting
disconnections in Sao Paulo Region, 20% in Rio de Janeiro Region
2 and 39% in the Southern Region.

- Voluntary disconnections, i.e., disconnections requested by our
subscribers, represented 15% of total disconnections in this
quarter. Among those, disconnections justified by moving to other
cities or to areas not covered by our cable network reached 31%
and those explained by financial or personal reasons reached 28%.
In the previous quarter they had reached 25% and 32%
respectively. Drifting to competition increased from 6% in 3Q02
to 7% this quarter.

- Pay-per-view (PPV) sales during 4Q02 totaled 51,895 events and
were concentrated on single matches of the Brazilian Soccer
Championship, a reduction of 43% in relation to the previous
quarter. This figure is mainly a consequence of the PPV
seasonality, since the Brazilian Soccer Championship started in
3Q02 and sales of the full championship package concentrated in
that quarter. The seasonality effect was also noticed between
4Q01 and 3Q01, when a 40% drop on PPV sales was also registered.

-  In the year of 2002, the Company sold more than 259,000 PPV
events, an increase of 25% in comparison to 206,000 events sold
in 2001. PPV sales penetration rate in PPV-enabled areas reached
approximately 25%. In December 2002, close to 78% of subscribers
were located in such areas.

- The active subscriber base reached 55.7 thousand subscribers,
an increase of 9.9% compared to 50.7 thousand in the previous
quarter and 12.6% compared to 49.5 thousand in the end of 2001.
Thus, the penetration in the active Pay-TV subscriber base
increased to 4.2%, and, when considering only the subscriber base
that has already activated bidirectional access, the penetration
also increased, reaching 12.9%, compared to 3.8% and 11.7% in
3Q02; and 3.5% and 11.1% in 4Q01, respectively.

- The recent agreement with some ISPs offered cable modems under
a free lease agreement to subscribers agreeing to remain in the
base for at least one year and choosing a speed of 256 kbps or
higher. This offer improved sales of speeds of 256 kbps or above,
which reached 96% of total sales.

- Total subscribers for 256 kbps speed or above increased to 56%
of the total subscribers compared to 52% in the previous quarter.

- Vˇrtua's annualized churn rate was 18.2%, lower than 19.9% in
3Q02. This rate remained fairly stable when compared to the
previous quarter, 18.5%, which excluded the effects of the change
in the control system. Churn is approximately 5 percentage points
higher than 4Q01, mainly due to subscribers moving to areas
without bi-directional technology, where the company cannot keep
offering the service.

- Compared to 3Q02, the number of corporate network stations
increased 1.8% and the number of company-owned stations increased
8.2%. Among the new contracts signed in the quarter, the
highlights are BR Distribuidora, Glaxo and Duke Energy.

- In 2002, total network increased 22.2%, reaching 4,117 stations
against 3,370 in the end of 2001. Some important capital expenses
in infrastructure occurred during the year, such as the
implementation of the fiber ring in Rio de Janeiro and its
expansion in Sao Paulo, and the extension of the intercity
backbone that interconnects the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de
Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Ribeirao Preto, Sorocaba,
Recife and Brasilia.

CONTACT:  Marcio Minoru Miyakava
          Tel: +55 (11) 5186-2811

          Lu Yuan Fang
          Tel: +55 (11) 5186-2637

* World Bank Negotiating on US$505 Million Brazil Loan Deal
The World Bank's board is set to discuss a loan to Brazil on
Tuesday. Bloomberg News cited a government official saying the
country may receive US$505 million in aid from the lender next
week. The new loan would be the first financial infusion from a
government-backed lender since President Inacio Lula da Silva
assumed office.

Former World Bank economist John Williamson said, "The donors are
anxious to have Lula come out of this in the right way. They very
much want a Latin American leftist leader who doesn't go crazy. "

"Progress on the social side is important to preserve space on
the economic side. It's important to make sure that (Lula's
pledges) pay off, "World Bank Chief Economist Joachim von Amsberg

Last year, the World Bank promised to make US$4.5 bilion in
credits available to Brazil, the bank's vice president David de
Ferranti said that US$1 billion will be made available to the
country this year.

In September last year, the country signed a US$30 billion loan
accord with the International Monetary Fund, drawing US$6 bilion
from the said agreement during the same year. the IMF promised to
make  percent US$4.2 billion available to the country if it
satisfy deficit and inflation reduction requirements.


COEUR D'ALENE: Chile, Argentina Mines Critical to Success
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE) announced on Wednesday
that its operations exceeded 2002 production expectations and
reduced consolidated cash costs to a record low of $2.89 per
ounce of silver. The Company also announced continued outstanding
exploration results at its 100%-owned high-grade silver Martha
mine located in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.

2002 Results from Operations

2002 silver production totaled 14,832,681 ounces, a 36% increase
in production over 2001. Gold production also increased
significantly to 117,114 ounces, representing a 22% increase over

Coeur's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis E. Wheeler
commented, "2002 represented a turnaround year for Coeur. We have
re-established the company as the world's dominant primary silver
producer by focusing on new low-cost gold/silver operations in
South America, optimizing our existing operations here in North
America, and reducing the Company's debt."

Coeur introduced two new mines in South America during 2002,
which was the primary reason for the Company's considerable
production growth and reduction in cash costs. Together, the
high-grade Cerro Bayo and Martha mines produced 3.1 million
ounces of silver and 45,200 ounces of gold. The average total
cash costs during 2002 were an extremely low $0.38 per ounce of
silver. Mr. Wheeler noted, "These new properties are providing
Coeur with significant cash flow. Based on the excellent
exploration results during 2002, we have every expectation that
we will be producing high-grade silver and gold in Southern Chile
and Argentina for many years."

The Rochester mine in Nevada exceeded its 2002 silver and gold
production estimates while lowering its cash costs to $3.00 per
ounce of silver. For the year, Rochester produced 6.4 million
ounces of silver and 71,905 ounces of gold. Wheeler remarked,
"Our people at Rochester have done an excellent job of
identifying opportunities to operate more efficiently, which has
resulted in a further reduction in the mine's cash costs.
Rochester continues to be a consistent performer for Coeur."

Coeur Silver Valley in Idaho achieved record production of 5.3
million ounces of silver during 2002, representing an 18%
increase over 2001. Average total cash costs declined 8% from
2001 to $4.25 per ounce. Since acquiring operating control of the
Silver Valley operations in 1999, cash costs have declined nearly
17% while production has increased 64%. Coeur Silver Valley's
mines have produced over 160 million ounces of silver since
production began in 1955 and have a strong track record of
reserve replacement. During the fourth quarter of 2002, the
Company expects to adjust the carrying value of its Silver Valley
operations down by $20-$24 million to give effect to a long term
silver price of $5.00 per ounce and to reflect the economics
associated with this lower long-term silver price assumption. The
non-cash write-down pursuant to FAS 144 will be reflected in the
Company's financial statements for the year ended December 31,
2002, to be issued next month. The Company is conducting an
exploration and development program in 2003 to increase the
mine's reserves and resources. In addition, Coeur plans to
introduce additional mechanized mining methods at Silver Valley
during 2003, which should positively impact cash costs.

Exploration Success at Martha Mine and Surrounding Properties in

Coeur also announced continued outstanding exploration results at
its 100%-owned high-grade silver Martha mine located in Santa
Cruz Province, Argentina. The underground mine is approximately
270 miles southeast of Coeur's Cerro Bayo property located in
Southern Chile. Coeur acquired the Martha mine in April 2002 and
began transporting high-grade ore to its Cerro Bayo mill in June

Reserves at the Martha mine property have grown to 5.3 million
silver equivalent ounces, representing a 96% increase since the
property was acquired from Yamana Resources, Inc. New reserves
discovered on the Martha mine property during the second half of
2002 totaled 4.6 million silver equivalent ounces, averaging 150
ounces of silver equivalent per ton. They were discovered at an
exceptionally low cost of $.037 per silver equivalent ounce.
During 2002, Martha produced approximately 1.4 million silver
equivalent ounces.

Coeur commenced exploration efforts during the second half of
2002 and focused primarily on the Martha vein located within the
100 acre Martha mine property. The Martha vein, which is exposed
for over one mile, is one of six presently known veins that have
had very limited exploration prior to Coeur's acquisition of the
property. Coeur's efforts in 2002 consisted of mapping, sampling
and the drilling of 89 holes totaling 21,320 feet.

Exploration was successful in discovering extensions of high
grade ore along the strike of the Martha vein within the mine
itself as well as locating an entirely new high-grade ore shoot
called the R 4 Zone located approximately 300 feet southeast of
the mine. The R 4 zone remains open at depth and along strike,
indicating additional high-grade reserves should be discovered
during 2003.

The R 4 Zone is a significant new discovery that is expected to
extend the Martha mine life through the end of 2004. At the
present time, the proven and probable reserves in the R 4 Zone
alone totals 27,928 tons averaging 0.12 ounces per ton gold and
143 ounces per ton silver for a total of 4.2 MM silver equivalent
ounces. A select drill intercept has a true thickness of 44.0
feet of 0.42 ounces per ton of gold and 666 ounces per ton of
silver, which equates to a silver equivalent grade of 694 ounces
per ton. An ongoing drill program is expected to expand the high
grade reserve in the R 4 zone to the southeast.

Coeur has also initiated ground reconnaissance on its large land
package in Santa Cruz Province surrounding the Martha mine as
well as 90 miles to the north surrounding its Lejano property,
which also contains a significant silver resource. Numerous new
epithermal veins are being discovered that contain high grade
gold and silver mineralization on the surface. These veins have
never been sampled or drilled. One of these veins is up to 13
feet wide and has been continuously mapped for over 3.5 miles.
The Company plans to map, sample and drill as many of these veins
as possible during 2003.

Based on the Company's initial review of these landholdings,
Coeur believes there is the potential to discover over fifty
million silver equivalent ounces on prospects located on this
land package outside the Martha mine property. As a result of
this positive initial review, Coeur has purchased a 10% net
profit interest from Yamana Resources for $75,000 which relates
to the properties located outside the Martha mine area.

Dieter Krewedl, Coeur's Senior Vice President of Exploration,
commented, "The Santa Cruz Province in Southern Argentina
represents a major new gold/silver district. Because of the
highly prospective nature of the region and our excellent results
to date, Coeur has increased its land position by nearly 50% to
352 square miles. In addition, the Company has increased its 2003
exploration budget for Argentina five-fold and we have high
expectations of finding additional high-grade reserves and

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is the world's largest primary
silver producer, as well as a significant, low-cost producer of
gold. The Company has mining interests in Nevada, Idaho, Alaska,
Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors - The United States Securities
and Exchange Commission permits mining companies, in their
filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits
that a company can economically and legally extract or produce.
We use the term "resources" in this press release which the SEC
guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings
with the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the
disclosure in our Form 10-K. You can review and obtain copies of
that filing from the SEC website at

CONTACT:  Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation
          Mitchell J. Krebs
          Tel: 208/769-8155

CERJ: Enersis Increases Stake Following Recent Capitalization
Chilean electricity holding Enersis SA emerged as the sole
subscriber to the US$112-million capitalization recently
undertaken by its Brazilian unit Companhia de Eletricidade do
Estado do Rio de Janeiro (CERJ), reports Dow Jones.

"The subscription to that amount was done by capitalizing a loan
the Chilean holding gave the Brazilian power distributor, a
strong financial reinforcement for CERJ without incrementing
Enersis exposure in the company or in the country," Enersis said.

The move boosted Enersis ownership in CERJ from 84% to 88.3%,
while cutting Electricidade de Portugal SA's (EDP) stake in CERJ
to 11.3% from 15.4%.


AZTECA: Subsidiary Dividend Needed to Meet Debt Obligations
Azteca Holdings needs cash to pay US$150 million in bonds that
come due in July, reports Bloomberg. In this context, TV Azteca,
its majority-owned broadcaster, will pay a special dividend
before July.

"We are committed to doing that," Chief Executive Pedro Padilla
said, adding that the operation requires regulatory approval from
the Mexican stock exchange.

"Clearly this is going to happen before the maturity of the
Azteca Holdings' bond in July."

Padilla said he proposed a payment equivalent to 10% to 13% in
dividend yield to the board, or about US$90 million to US$120
million based on current stock prices. About 56% of the dividend
would go to Azteca Holdings, which has "different alternatives"
for financing the remainder of what it owes bondholders, he said.

Analysts say Azteca could repay the debt partly by issuing new

CFE: Mexicali II Project Attracting Bids Despite Odds
Bidding rules for the 98-242MW Mexicali II combined-cycle solar
hybrid project of Mexico's state power company are still selling,
despite uncertainties in the country's power sector reform laws,
reports Business News Americas, citing an unnamed company source.

Mexico's economy, up by only 2.5 percent last year, did not reach
the expected 6.6 percent growth, due to the recession. But
companies remain optimistic that the economy will improve in the
long run.

However, the company has sold 17 sets of bidding rules as of
Monday. The deadline for buying rules is March 7, and the company
hopes to receive offers from at least one or two companies,
according to the source.

Technical bids will be opened by March 13, and a winner is to be
announced by May 16.

The plant is estimated to cost about US$150 million, excluding
the solar unit. The plant will be constructed in San Luis Rio
Colorado in the Mexican state of Sonora. The planst construction
is slated to start in December this year, and operations should
start in March 2006.

The World Bank's Global Environmental Facility (GEF) supports the
project. The winning bidder will receive US$50 million through a
trust fund that will be used to incorporate a 25MW solar power
unit to the combined-cycle unit, said BNAmericas.

Under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), CFE will buy 100
percent of Mexicali II's power output.

CFE: Copalar Work Plan Presented To Hydrocopalar Midamerica
CFE said it has revealed its proposed work plan to the
Hydrocopalar Midamerica consortium for studies into the 650MW
Copalar hydro project in Nicaragua.

A report by Business News Americas revealed that Hydrocopalar is
made up of Mexico's Proyectos y Planificaci˘n, Switzerland's
Voith and Germany's Siemens. The consortium signed contracts with
CFE earlier this month, allowing the Mexican state power company
to carry out technical and financial feasibility studies for the

Siemens has already made initial inquiries to Brazilian and
Spanish banks as well as Mexico's export-import bank Bancomex
regarding project financing, said the report.

          Rio Rodano 14, Col. Cuauhtemoc
          06598 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5229-4400
          Fax: +52-55-5310-4614

          Alfredo Elias Ayub, General Director
          Arturo Hernandez Alvarez, Director of Operations
          Francisco J. Santoyo Vargas, Director of Finance

SATMEX: Cuts Costs, Trims Workforce To Meet Debt Payments
The financial situation of Satalites Mexicanos (Satmex) has
stirred apprehension in the markets, according to an article
released by Internet Securities. Recently, the telecommunications
company slashed 21% of its work force and trimmed millions of
dollars in costs for this year in order to meet its financial

"We have indicated to our investor base that it's very likely we
will be seeking an extension of our obligations," Satmex Chief
Financial Officer Cynthia Pelini told Reuters.

Pelini said the cuts did not affect the operations of the
Company, which is planning during the third quarter to launch
Satmex 6 -- the most powerful telecommunications satellite ever
put in orbit over the Americas.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has had Satmex on review for a
possible downgrade since November due to concerns the Company
could exhaust its remaining liquidity in 2003, given the
potential for continued industry weakness.

Pelini said Satmex is negotiating with the U.S. Export-Import
Bank and export credit insurer Coface for US$250 million in loans
on 8-1/2-year terms.

"It has been a long process with Eximbank. They don't do a
satellite loan every day. We think that it's going well but we
have not received board approval yet. We are hoping for that this
quarter," Pelini said.

She said that once the new credit was secured, Satmex would pay
down US$205 million in senior secured floating rate notes that
are due in 2004.

Then Satmex would seek an extension on US$320 million in high-
yield bonds, which are also due in 2004. The two issues represent
Satmex's total debt. Satmex is 49% held by Loral Space &
Communications Ltd.

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA: Won Case Filed By Former Pilot
A court ruling issued by Justice Judge Mohammed said that
struggling airline BWIA was neither negligent nor breached its
duty to maintain a safe working environment. A former BWIA pilot
sued the airline after suffering permanent damage in one of his
eyes from a blast of hydraulic fluid.

According to the Trinidad Express, Tajo Beharry, represented by
Vashist Maharaj and Ronald Dowlath in court, testified that he
obtained the injury when he looked at one of the airline's
holding tanks, and a jet stream of hydraulic fluid fell into his
right eye. A loss in hydraulic fluid had prompted him to look
into the plane's underside after landing in St. Lucia from

The incident happened when Mr. Beharry served as "third pilot" on
an L-1011 plane on March 7, 1994.

Although the judge found that Mr. Beharry's testimony "evokes
considerable sympathy", the pilot was ordered to pay the legal
cost of BWIA's attorneys, David Patrick, Stephanie Daly and Ravi

"Because of his enthusiasm and sense of duty, he has found
himself in the unfortunate position of having had his eyesight in
one eye substantially diminished and his pilot's license
consequently revoked. The fault for his injury, however, does no
lie with the defendant (BWIA)," read part of the decision.

The judge found that Mr. Beharry failed to prove that the airline
was negligent in the maintenance of the system, nor was the plane
in question proved to be dangerously defective prior to the

The judge reserved his 34-page judgment in the Fifth Civil Court
on December 5, 2002, said the Trinidad Express on Friday.

CARONI: Over 9,000 Workers Receive VESP Offers
Workers of troubled Caroni (1975 ) Ltd. got letters offering
voluntary separation packages on Monday, according to the
Trinidad Express. The VESP offers the regular separation package
with "enhanced monetary perks as  much as 30 percent higher" to
more than 9,000 daily- and monthly-paid workers.

The government is giving the workers 45 days to decide whether to
accept the VESP or not. Earlier reports say that those who refuse
to accept the VESP will have to face eventual redundancy.

Those who choose to accept the separation package may receive
payment on August 2, after notice of acceptance are handed out on
April 11. They would also receive an option to buy homes at a
discounted price: one percent per year, in which the worker lived
in the house, and a pension of $1,000 when the worker reaches 65
yearsold. Counseling and financial advisory services will
reportedly be made available.

Workers say they would have to discuss the VESP with their

Trinidad and Tobago Agriculture Minister John Rahael said that he
couldn't say how many workers are expected to accept the
severance package. But the government would have to ensure the
viability of the sugar industry, if an involuntary separation
program becomes necessary.

The VESP will cost the government some $889.1 million, while the
Caroni pension plan would require $235 million said Mr. Rahael.
He added that the government would also honor the company's
legitimate debts to creditors and banks.

Mr. Rahael confirmed that the Planning and Finance Ministries are
currently in talks with the Inter-American Development Bank to
make sure the government has sufficient funds for the procedure,
and that employees accepting the VESP would "have their cheques
in hand."

Acting chief executive William Washington signed the VSEP offer.
The letter stipulated that it was "desirable for the manpower of
the company to be reduced."

President General of the All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers
Trade Union, Rudranath Indarsingh expressed disapproval of the
VESP, which he said "reeks of vindictiveness and political

According to him, the original Tripartite Agreement for Caroni in
1992 never envisaged sending home thousands of workers.
Meanwhile, the government also announced that operations at
Caroni's Brechin Castle grinding factory will be stopped, in line
with the company's restructuring, which includes plans to upgrade
sugar refining operations.

The company would then purchase sugars from private farmers.
Currently, farmers are asking for an increase in the amount the
company pays for cane, which is currently at $170 per ton.

Mr. Rahael revealed that Caroni's debt now stands at $3.2
billion, in just ten years after $2.1 billion in debt was written

CONTACT:  Caroni Limited
          Old Southern Main Road, Caroni,
          Trinidad & Tobago
          Phone: (868) 663-1781 or 662-0879
          Fax: (868) 663-1404

          All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers' Trade Union
          Rienzi Complex
          Exchange Village
          Southern Main Road, Couva.
          President: Mr. Boysie Moore-Jones
          General Secretary: Mr. Rudranath Indarsingh
          Tel. 868-636-2354
          Fax. 868-636-3372


* Uruguay May Obtain More Funds to Close Funding Gap
U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs John
Taylor said Uruguay's financing gap may be adjusted through
additional funds. He also suggested that the country may
restructure its debt, or make "greater adjustments on the fiscal
side", in order to avoid a debt default.

Bloomberg reports that the country may get more credit beyond a
current $2.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund in
order to stabilize its banking industry.

Mr. Taylor commented that the loan from the IMF had done its part
in restoring investor confidence in the country's banking system.

The country's currency registered a 32 percent decline this year
as Uruguay struggles to emerge from a four-year recession.

Precious reports indicated that the country is making significant
progress in negotiations for a US$380 million accord with the

Meanwhile, President Jorge Batlle said that the country would
seek to reschedule payment of its debts due to the IMF, World
Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank.


CANTV: Records $2M Loss In 4Q02 On Slumping Revenues
CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, the country's largest
telephone company, posted a US$2-million loss in the fourth
quarter of 2002, reversing a US$22-million profit in the same
period in 2001.

According to Bloomberg, the loss was due to an 11.4% drop in
CANTV's revenue for the quarter. Revenue fell to US$468 million
from US$528 million during the quarter owing to the general
strike against President Hugo Chavez that began Dec. 2 and ended
Feb. 1.

The drop was led by a 39% decline in international long distance
revenue to US$17 million from US$28 million. Revenue from local
calls fell 76% to US$136 million from US$147 million, while
domestic long distance fell 19% to US$46 million from US$57

Revenue from wireless operations fell 9% to US$92 million from
US$101 million. The Company's subscriber base rose 4% during the
year to 2.6 million.

"Their cash flow was strong, which is positive," said Miguel
Octavio, whose BBO Financial Services' mutual funds own Nacional
Telefonos shares. "What is worrying is whether the company's
rates will be frozen."

Venezuela froze domestic residential rates for Nacional Telefonos
last week as part of setting prices for basic foodstuffs and

Operating expenses rose 10.1% to US$329 million from US$299

Nacional Telefonos had 2.7 million fixed lines in service and 2.6
million cellular subscribers as of Dec. 31.

The Company also said it would seek shareholder approval March 28
to pay a dividend of VEB497 to shareholders of record April 8.

National Telefonos is 28.5% owned by Verizon Communications Inc.,
6.9% by Spain's Telefonica SA, 6.6% by the government, and 12% by
employees. The rest, or about 46%, is traded.

CITGO: Delays Corpus Christi Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Project
Researched by (Industrial Information
Resources, Incorporated; Houston, Texas). CITGO Petroleum
Corporation (Tulsa, Oklahoma), owned by PDV America, Inc, an
indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.
(PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivian Republic of
Venezuela, has delayed a $40 million project at its 155,000
barrel per day Corpus Christi, Texas refinery, due to the on-
going oil workers strike in Venezuela.

For details on this development register and view the entire
article at has identified over 3,000 current, future, and
historical North American refinery turnarounds representing
millions of dollars in opportunities for equipment and service
providers. The Petroleum Refinery Database is designed to provide
market coverage of the 192 plants and over 3,800 process units,
with emphasis on new build, expansion of existing units,
turnaround tracking and project spending activity. For more
information, send inquiries to
or visit us online at

        Mike Bergen
          Tel: 713/783-5147

SINCOR: Operations To Resume This Weekend
Sincor, one of the four heavy crude upgrade projects in
Venezuela, will restart operations this weekend once gas supplies
have been secured, local newspaper Panorama Digital reports,
citing Sincor general manager Joris Desmt.

"It's a slow process, but in seven days we will reach average
production of 150,000 barrels a day," he said.

Sincor has a 200,000 barrel/day (b/d) capacity to produce 32
degrees API synthetic crude. The project is owned by France's
TotalFinaElf (47%), Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA (38%) and
Norway's Statoil (15%).


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter Latin American is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, NJ,
and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, DC. John D. Resnick, Edem
Psamathe P. Alfeche and Oona G. Oyangoren, Editors.

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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