TCRLA_Public/040423.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, April 23, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 80

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ALCOMAR: Informational Report Due in Court Today
APSA: Corporate Bonds Get Local S&P `raBBB-' Rating
CABLEVISION: S&P Comments on APE Process Status
CIESA: Junk Level Unchanged on $220M Bonds
CRM: S&P Assigns Default Ratings To $150M of Bonds

DISCO: Local Judge Blocks Disco Sale
HURD SUDAMERICA: Claims Verification Ends Today
MADERA POSADAS: Receiver Prepares Individual Reports
MARCOS MARTINI: Court Orders Claims Verification Wrap Up
MOPAL: Court Expects Individual Reports Today

OGDEN-RURAL: SRA to Sell Stake in Exhibition Center
PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Announces US$100 Million Bond Issue
PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Anticipates Drilling Permit By Month's End
PINTURERIA PROFESIONAL: Receiver's General Report Due Today
REJIAR: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion

SAN DIEGO: Informative Assembly Slated for Today


B E R M U D A

TK ALUMINUM: S&P Lowers Long-Term Corporate Credit Rating to `B'


B O L I V I A

COTAS: Signs $7M Frame Agreement With Alvarion


B R A Z I L

EMBRATEL: MCI Signs Amended Sale Agreement with TELMEX
EMBRATEL: MCI Provides Terms of Senior Notes


C H I L E

COEUR D'ALENE: Files Registration Statements; Capital Needed


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

* Fitch Comments on Dominican Republic's Paris Club Agreement


E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Anticipates Drilling Contract Bids In May


J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: RUSAL Successful Bidder for Alpart Interests


M E X I C O

GRUPO ELEKTRA: Deposits $293M Advanced Payment to Restructure
GRUPO MEXICO: Reverses Course; Posts 1Q Sales, Profit Gains


U R U G U A Y

UTE: Combined Cycle Plant Project Attracts Four Bidders


V E N E Z U E L A

CANTV: Signs Capacity Agreement with New World Network
PDVSA: Denies Shortages, Smuggling Enforcement Increased


     - - - - - - - - -


=================
A R G E N T I N A
=================

ALCOMAR: Informational Report Due in Court Today
------------------------------------------------
Mr. Flavio Amantovan, the court-appointed receiver overseeing
the reorganization process of Mendoza company Alcomar S.R.L., is
expected to submit the general report to court today, April 23,
2004. The receiver prepared this report after the individual
reports, which contain the verification results were processed
in court.

According to an earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter
- Latin America, the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Mendoza,
which is handling the Company's case, has set August 18, 2004 as
the date for the informative assembly, which is the last stage
of a reorganization process.

CONTACT:  Flavio Amantovan
          Lemos 679
          Mendoza


APSA: Corporate Bonds Get Local S&P `raBBB-' Rating
---------------------------------------------------
The Argentine branch of Standard & Poor's International Ratings
assigned an `raBBB-' rating to ARS85 million worth of corporate
bonds issued by Alto Palermo S.A., according to the Comision
Nacional de Valores (CNV), the country's securities regulator.
The bonds, which will mature on April 7, 2005, were described as
"Obligaciones Negociables Simples no Convertibles en acciones"
and classified under `Simple Issue.'

The rating action was taken based on the Company's financial
status as of the end of December 2003. Alto Palermo is the
largest shopping mall operator in Argentina.

CONTACT:  Alto Palermo S.A. (APSA)
          2/F
          476 Hipolito Yrigoyen
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4344 4600
          Home Page: http://www.altopalermo.com.ar
          Contacts:
          Eduardo Sergio Elsztain, Chairman
          Marcos Marcelo Mindlin , Vice Chairman
          Aaron Gabriel Juejati, Vice Chairman


CABLEVISION: S&P Comments on APE Process Status
-----------------------------------------------
CableVision S.A. (CableVision, D/--/--), the largest Argentine
cable operator, recently announced that it has detected a
miscalculation regarding the required majority of creditors
needed to restructure its financial debt under an out-of-court
agreement, or "Acuerdo Preventivo Extrajudicial"(APE). On March
3, 2004, the company announced that it had obtained the
sufficient number of holders to ask for the APE endorsement by
the Argentine Courts.

On April 16, 2004, CableVision became aware that one of the
bondholders has both given its positive vote on the APE to the
exchange agent and separately subscribed to the APE under a
private agreement, thus duplicating its vote. CableVision will
verify the calculation of the votes and announce the results in
the near term. Although the situation might generate some
uncertainties regarding the timing of the approval or the
endorsement of the APE in itself, CableVision's ratings are not
affected because the company will remain in default until the
restructuring process is concluded.

ANALYSTS:  Ivana Recalde, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2127
           Pablo Lutereau, Buenos Aires (54) 114-891-2125


CIESA: Junk Level Unchanged on $220M Bonds
------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
reaffirmed the `raD' rating assigned to US$220 million worth of
corporate bonds issued by Compania de Inversiones de Energia
S.A. The CNV described the bonds as "Obligaciones Negociables
autorizadas por AGE de fecha 13.12.96." These bonds, which were
classified under `Simple Issue,' matured on April 22, 2002.

The rating action, which was taken based on the Company's
finances as of the end of December 2003, indicates that the
financial obligations are currently in default.

The ratings agency said that the same rating may be issued if
interest or principal payments are not made on the due even if
the applicable grace period has not expired.


CRM: S&P Assigns Default Ratings To $150M of Bonds
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
maintains an `raD' rating on corporate bonds issued by Compania
de Radiocomunicaciones Moviles S.A. CRM), according to data
released by the CNV on its Web site.

The bonds, worth US$150 million, were described as "Serie
emitida bajo el Programa de Ons por hasta U$S 350 millones,
vencido el 9-02-03" and classified under "Series and/or Class."
The bonds will mature on May 31, 2008.

The rating action was taken based on the Company's finances as
of the end of December 2003. Financial obligations, which carry
an `raD' rating, are currently in default. The ratings agency
said that the same rating may be issued if interest or principal
payments are not made on the due even if the applicable grace
period has not expired.


DISCO: Local Judge Blocks Disco Sale
------------------------------------
Citing a technicality, an Argentine federal judge ruled this
week that Chilean company Cencosud cannot purchase Disco, the
troubled Argentine supermarket chain controlled by Dutch
retailer Ahold, according to Dow Jones.

According to widespread local media reports, the federal judge
in San Rafael, Mendoza province is blocking the sale because
Argentina's antitrust authority, the National Committee for
Defense of Competition, has yet to convene a required quorum,
which renders any decision from the committee as illegitimate.
The committee, which is currently reviewing the deal which will
give Cencosud a 22% share in Argentina's retail market, is not
expected to come up with a decision for several months.

According to a Cencosud official Wednesday, the company, which
already operates the Jumbo supermarket chain and hardware store
chain Easy in Argentina, has yet to be formally notified of the
San Rafael ruling. But the official said that once it gets
official word, Cencosud will take any legal means necessary to
resolve the situation.

The continuing troubles for Disco and Ahold come as Cencosud is
preparing to float shares on Santiago's stock exchange. The
company, which plans to start trading next month, launched a
road show in Chile Tuesday. Capital raised in the share issue
will be utilized for its expansion in both Chile and Argentina.


HURD SUDAMERICA: Claims Verification Ends Today
-----------------------------------------------
The credit verification process for the bankruptcy of Hurd
Sudamerica S.A. ends today. The Company's receiver, Mr. Norberto
Bonesi, will now prepare the individual reports, which are to be
submitted to Buenos Aires Court No. 6 on June 7, 2004.

An earlier report by the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin
America indicated that the general report is due to be submitted
to court in August this year. The receiver will prepare this
report after the individual reports are processed in court.

Clerk No. 11 aids the court on the case, which will conclude
with the liquidation of the Company's assets to repay creditors.

CONTACT:  Hurd Sudamerica S.A.
          Maipu 1252
          Buenos Aires


MADERA POSADAS: Receiver Prepares Individual Reports
----------------------------------------------------
The reorganization of Madera Posadas S.A. proceeds with the
preparation of the individual reports as Mr. Hector Arzu, the
Company's receiver, is scheduled to close the credit
verifications today. The receiver will gather the data and
finalize individual reports as well as the general report. Judge
Ojea Quintana of Buenos Aires Court No. 12, with assistance from
Clerk No. 24, Dr. Medici Garrot, will be announcing the
deadlines for the submission of the said reports later.

The Company, which sells and manufactures ceilings, iron straps,
moldings and socles, decided to undergo a reorganization process
after it stopped making debt payments in May last year.

CONTACT:  Madera Posadas S.A.
          2nd Floor
          Florida 336
          Buenos Aires

          Hector Arzu
          9th Floor, Room 19
          Junin 55
          Buenos Aires


MARCOS MARTINI: Court Orders Claims Verification Wrap Up
--------------------------------------------------------
Estudio Fernandez Miro Dazza, the receiver appointed by the
Tribunal civil y comercial de Moron No. 5 to oversee the
reorganization process of Marcos Martini S.A., will conclude the
claims verification process today. The next step in the process
is for the receiver to prepare the individual reports and submit
these to court on May 28, 2004, followed by the general report
on July 2, 2004.

The informational meeting will take place on September 3, 2004.

CONTACT:  Marcos Martini S.A.
          Pasteur 2874 Castelar
          (Partido de Moron)

          "Estudio Fernandez, Miro, Dazza" - Receiver
          San Martin 131
          Moron


MOPAL: Court Expects Individual Reports Today
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 3 of the Civil and Commercial Tribunal of Mar del
Plata, ordered Mr. Juan Carlos Codagnone, the receiver for the
reorganization process of Mopal S.A., to hand in the individual
reports to court today, according to an earlier report released
by Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America.

These reports contain the results of the credit verification
process, which was completed earlier this year. After the
individual reports are processed in court, the receiver will
submit the general report on June 4, 2004.

The court is yet to set the date for the informative assembly.

CONTACT:  Mopal S.A.
          Entre Rios 1648
          Mar del Plata


OGDEN-RURAL: SRA to Sell Stake in Exhibition Center
---------------------------------------------------
Argentine businessman Francisco De Narvaez and Alejandro Shaw,
who own a 50% stake in exhibition center La Rural are
negotiating the acquisition of the other 50% that belongs to the
Argentine Rural Society (SRA) for US$60,000 per month until the
end of the concession, in 2005.

SRA's shareholders will discuss the sale of 100% of the shares
of La Rural de Palermo, the corporation through which the entity
controls 50% of Ogden Rural, owner of the concession to manage
the center until 2025, during an extraordinary meeting to take
place April 30.

According to sources close to the negotiations, De Narvaez and
Shaw, owners of the other 50% stake in Ogden Rural, have good
chances of taking SRA's stake.

SRA President Luciano Miguens wants to sell the stake in Ogden
Rural and claims that the deal would bring revenues to the
entity and would free it from its liabilities with state-owned
bank Banco Provincia, to which Ogden Rural owes ARS109 million
(US$38.65 million). After the sale, the SRA would still keep its
right to co-organize the annual farming exhibition that has been
taking place since 1878.

The company has just closed a debt restructuring agreement with
Banco Provincia. This accord will also be discussed during the
April 30 assembly. Although the last word on the sale of La
Rural de Palermo lies on SRA's members, this deal would be one
of the conditions to maintain the refinancing accord with the
bank.

According to Miguens, the main guarantee for the restructuring
is a trust fund in favor of Banco Provincia that will retain 40%
of the revenues generated by the exhibition center and these
funds will be used to cancel the debt to the bank.

Ogden Rural agreed to repay its debt in 15 semi-annual payments
between 2006 and 2016.


PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Announces US$100 Million Bond Issue
------------------------------------------------------
As part of its existing US$2.5 billion bond program, Argentine
energy company Petrobras Energia SA (PECO.BA) said in a
statement to the Buenos Aires stock exchange that it is planning
to issue up to US$100 million in new bonds, Dow Jones reports.

Petrobras Energia, which is the main asset of Petrobras Energia
Participaciones (PZE), which is in turn owned by Petroleo
Brasileiro (PBR) or Petrobras of Brazil, did not give further
details in its filing to the stock exchange. The company said
the bonds issue was decided during a meeting Tuesday by its
board.

This is the first time Petrobras Energia to make such an
issuance since October 2003, when it also issued US$100 million
in 10-year bonds.


PETROBRAS ENERGIA: Anticipates Drilling Permit By Month's End
-------------------------------------------------------------
The environmental permit for Argentine energy company Petrobras
Energˇa (Merval: PESA) to commence drilling operations on
Ecuador's block 31 in the Yasunˇ national park is expected by
the company to be released by the end of this month, reports
BNamericas, quoting an El Comercio newspaper report.

The El Comercio report said the environmental impact study (EIS)
and drilling plan presented by the company have already been
approved by the energy and mines ministry. Once authorization is
granted, Petrobras Energˇa will then start construction on a
road and a port on the Napo river.

"We can carry out the drilling while minimizing the
environmental impact," the paper quoted Petrobras Energˇa
spokesperson Ren‚ Espˇn as saying.

The company recently inked a 5-year accord with an indigenous
peoples' group in Ecuador to facilitate its exploration work on
block 31, which holds oil reserves of some 230 million barrels.
The company acquired the concession in 1996.

The company has made various changes to its project plans in
accordance with recommendations from the technical advisory
group (GAT) of the management committee of Yasunˇ national park,
which will be at the receiving end of a US$3.5 million donation
from Petrobras Energia.


PINTURERIA PROFESIONAL: Receiver's General Report Due Today
-----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires Court No. 25 expects Mr. Raul Brener, the receiver
for Pintureria Profesional Marcos S.R.L., to file the general
report for the Company's reorganization today.

The Company's receiver prepared the general report, a
consolidation of all the individual reports. After the general
report is processed in court, an informative assembly will be
held on October 6, 2004.

Clerk No. 49 aids the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Raul Brener
          Lambare 1140
          Buenos Aires


REJIAR: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
----------------------------------------------
Rejiar SA entered bankruptcy after Judge Braga of Buenos Aires
Court No. 22 approved an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed
by Cooperativa Concred de Credito y Vivienda Ltda. The Company's
failure to pay ARS4956.22 in debt prompted Cooperativa Concred
de Credito y Vivienda Ltda. to file the petition.

Working with Dr. Mata, the city's Clerk No. 43, the Company
assigned Mr. Federico Mansbach as receiver for the bankruptcy
process. The receiver's duties include the authentication of the
Company's debts and the preparation of the individual and
general reports. Creditors are required to present their proofs
of claims to the receiver before September 17, 2004.

The Company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to repay creditors. Payments will be made
based on the results of the verification process.

CONTACT:  Rejiar SA
          Joaquin V. Gonzalez 3804, Piso 3ř
          Buenos Aires

          Federico Mansbach, Receiver
          Tucuman 1506, Piso 4ř "402"
          Buenos Aires


SAN DIEGO: Informative Assembly Slated for Today
------------------------------------------------
The informative assembly for the reorganization of San Diego
S.R.L. will be held today, as ordered by the Civil and
Commercial Tribunal of Las Lomas (San Luis), the Troubled
Company Reporter - Latin America recalls. The informative
assembly is one of the last processes in a reorganization
process.

CONTACT:  Mr. Federico Gabriel Estrada, Receiver
          Lavalle 1416
          San Luis Argentina



=============
B E R M U D A
=============

TK ALUMINUM: S&P Lowers Long-Term Corporate Credit Rating to `B'
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services said Wednesday it lowered its
long-term corporate credit rating on Bermuda-based aluminum auto
parts manufacturer TK Aluminum Ltd. (TKA) to 'B' from 'B+' owing
to weaker-than-expected production volumes in 2003 and 2004. In
addition, the rating on the guaranteed EUR240 million senior
unsecured notes that TKA issued through its financing unit,
Teksid Aluminum Luxembourg S.a.r.l., S.C.A., was lowered to
'CCC+' from 'B-', reflecting solely their subordination to all
existing and future priority debt.

All ratings were removed from CreditWatch, where they were
placed on December 19, 2003.  The outlook is stable.  These
actions conclude the credit review carried out by Standard &
Poor's over the past few weeks.

"Standard & Poor's considers TKA's business environment to be
weaker, following lower-than-expected improvements in production
volumes in 2003, lower-than-expected production volumes and
higher pricing pressures in 2004, and currently unfavorable
foreign exchange exposure," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Martin Amann.  "This is likely to affect TKA's financial
performance in 2004, so that credit protection measures are
commensurate with a 'B' rating."

The rating also reflects the operating challenges the company
must overcome to increase its capacity utilization and improve
operating efficiencies, as well as increase production volumes.

"The stable outlook is based on our expectation that TKA's
credit protection measures will improve gradually in the
foreseeable future, and that its financial profile will remain
in line with the 'B' rating level," said Mr. Amann.  Free
operating cash flow generation is expected to become permanently
positive from 2005. The outlook also assumes that liquidity will
remain sufficient and that TKA remains in compliance with
financial covenants.

CONTACT:  STANDARD AND POORS RATING SERVICES
          Analyst E-Mail Addresses:

          martin_amann@standardandpoors.com
          bob_ukiah@standardandpoors.com
          CoporateFinanceEurope@standardandpoors.com



=============
B O L I V I A
=============

COTAS: Signs $7M Frame Agreement With Alvarion
----------------------------------------------
Alvarion Ltd. (NASDAQ: ALVR), the leading provider of wireless
broadband solutions worldwide, announced Wednesday that
Cooperativa de Telecommunicaciones Santa Cruz Ltda. (COTAS), the
second largest phone cooperative in Bolivia, has signed a $7
million frame agreement to deploy Alvarion's eMGW broadband
wireless access solution.

As a replacement for its current outdated WLL system, Alvarion's
3.8 GHz product will allow COTAS to provide enhanced voice and
Internet access to its customers in the greater Santa Cruz area
beginning in the third quarter. The Santa Cruz deployment, for
which Alvarion has already received a $3.6 million purchase
order, represents the first phase of COTAS deploying broadband
wireless to service customers throughout its service territory.

Hans Lohner Paz, CEO of COTAS, said, "By choosing Alvarion and
its eMGW product for our wireless network solution, we will now
be able to reach many new customers in suburban and rural Santa
Cruz with not only traditional toll-quality voice services, but
also with Internet and data as well. This demonstrates COTAS'
commitment to offer the latest in technology to improve service
to our customers."

Alvarion's eMGW solution was selected after an extensive review
of suppliers from all over the world. The eMGW provides fast
Internet access, corporate access and carrier-class telephony in
a single system and its modular and scalable configuration
enables incremental growth based on customer demand and a fast
return on investment. Operating in a wide range of frequencies
(800MHz - 5.7GHz), the MGW/eMGW family of solutions have been
successfully installed in mass markets in over 60 countries.

Zvi Slonimsky, chief executive officer of Alvarion, added,
"COTAS is a progressive operator that is committed to improving
its services. Alvarion was chosen from 18 competing companies to
be COTAS' preferred wireless vendor. COTAS' deployment is yet
another example of the important role that BWA plays in
improving the telecommunications infrastructure by enabling
high-speed data as well as voice."

About Cotas:

COTAS Ltda. (Cooperativa de Telecomunicaciones Santa Cruz Ltda.)
is the second largest local phone cooperative in Bolivia. COTAS
leads all other cooperatives in call volume and in revenues. It
offers a wide range of telecommunications services such as
Internet, ADSL, data transmission, pager services, long distance
calls, public phones, cable TV and of course local calls. In
Santa Cruz, COTAS is the leader in every service it provides.
COTAS was founded in 1960 with 2400 lines. At this moment COTAS
has 178,000 digital landlines.

About Alvarion

With over 1.5 million units deployed in 130 countries, Alvarion
is the worldwide leader in wireless broadband providing systems
to carriers, ISPs and private network operators. Featuring the
industry's most extensive portfolio and covering the full range
of frequency bands, the company's products enable the delivery
of business and residential broadband access, corporate VPNs,
mobile base station feeding, Hotspot coverage extension,
community interconnection, and public safety communications.
Alvarion works with several leading OEM providers and through
over 200 local partners to support its diverse customer base in
solving their last mile connection challenges wherever located.
As an industry pioneer, Alvarion has been driving and delivering
wireless broadband innovations for 10 years from core technology
developments to creating and promoting industry standards. Most
recently offering OFDM-based systems and taking leading roles in
the IEEE and HiperMAN standards, the company's prominent work in
the WiMAX ForumTM is focused on leading the wireless broadband
market to widespread adoption of standards-based products.

CONTACT:  Alvarion Ltd.
          Investor Relations:
          Carmen Deville, 760-517-3188
          E-mail: carmen.deville@alvarion.com



===========
B R A Z I L
===========

EMBRATEL: MCI Signs Amended Sale Agreement with TELMEX
------------------------------------------------------
MCI Inc. (MCIAV.PK) announced Wednesday that it has signed an
amended agreement with Telefonos de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE:
TMX; NASDAQ: TFONY) for the sale of MCI's equity stake in
Brazilian telecommunications provider Embratel Participacoes
(NYSE: EMT). The new agreement, which has been approved by the
MCI Board of Directors, increases the cash purchase price to be
paid by Telefonos de Mexico (TELMEX) to $400 million from $360
million and establishes a $12.2 million breakup fee to the
transaction.

The amended agreement also provides for a $50 million up-front
payment to MCI by TELMEX - which would be retained by MCI if the
proposed transaction cannot be consummated because of the
inability to obtain regulatory approvals.

MCI has filed the amended sale contract with the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York and has requested a
hearing to approve the termination fee on April 26, 2004. If the
termination fee is not approved by the Court, TELMEX will have
the option of reducing the purchase price to $360 million.

The Bankruptcy Court hearing for approval of the sale to TELMEX
is scheduled for April 27, 2004.

About MCI

MCI, Inc. (MCIAV.PK) is a leading global communications
provider, delivering innovative, cost-effective, advanced
communications connectivity to businesses, governments and
consumers. With the industry's most expansive global IP
backbone, based on the number of company-owned points of
presence, and wholly-owned data networks, MCI develops the
converged communications products and services that are the
foundation for commerce and communications in today's market.

PR Contact:  Name:  Les Kumagai
             Tel:  800-644-NEWS

PR Contact:  Name:  Gregory Pettit
             Role:  Investors
             Tel:  (877) 624-9266

Web site: http://www.mci.com


EMBRATEL: MCI Provides Terms of Senior Notes
--------------------------------------------
MCI, Inc. (MCIAV.PK) provided additional details Wednesday on
the terms of its senior notes issued on April 20, 2004 as a
result of the Company's emergence from Chapter 11. The senior
notes were issued in accordance with the Company's Plan of
Reorganization, are senior unsecured obligations of the Company
and consist of three separate issues with maturities of three,
five and ten years.

The three-year notes mature on May 1, 2007, have an initial
coupon rate of 5.908%, a principal amount of $1,982,537,000 and
are designated as the 5.908% Senior Notes due 2007. Commencing
on May 1, 2005, MCI will have the right to redeem some or all of
the 5.908% Senior Notes due 2007 at an initial call price of
102.454%, declining to par in May 2006. Prior to May 1, 2005,
MCI will have the right to redeem some or all of the Notes at a
price that would include a make-whole premium (calculated using
a discount rate equal to the applicable Treasury rate plus
1.331%).

The five-year notes mature on May 1, 2009, have an initial
coupon rate of 6.688%, a principal amount of $1,982,537,000 and
are designated as the 6.688% Senior Notes due 2009. Commencing
on May 1, 2006, MCI will have the right to redeem some or all of
the 6.688% Senior Notes due 2009 at an initial call price of
102.844%, declining ratably to par in May 2008. Prior to May 1,
2006, MCI will have the right to redeem some or all of the Notes
at a price that would include a make-whole premium (calculated
using a discount rate equal to the applicable Treasury rate plus
.229%).

The ten-year notes mature on May 1, 2014, have an initial coupon
rate of 7.735%, a principal amount of $1,699,496,000 and are
designated as the 7.735% Senior Notes due 2014. Commencing on
May 1, 2009, MCI will have the right to redeem some or all of
the 7.735% Senior Notes due 2014 at an initial call price of
103.3675%, declining ratably to par in May 2012. Prior to May 1,
2009, MCI will have the right to redeem some or all of the Notes
at a price that would include a make-whole premium (calculated
using a discount rate equal to the applicable Treasury rate plus
0.845%).,/p>

Interest on the senior notes is payable semi-annually on May 1
and November 1, beginning November 1, 2004, with interest
accruing from April 20, 2004.

The initial coupon rates on the senior notes are subject to
reset after the Company has applied for and received ratings for
the notes from Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's
Corporation. The adjustment could result in a change in the
interest rates ranging from (a) a decrease of 3.0% if the notes
are rated Baa3 or higher by Moody's and BBB- or higher by
Standard & Poor's to (b) an increase of 3.0% if the notes are
rated lower than B3 by Moody's and lower than B- by Standard &
Poor's. If the notes are rated between the levels indicated, the
coupon rates will change to a lesser degree. MCI expects to
apply for ratings from Moody's and Standard & Poor's within the
next 30 days. After applying for these ratings, the Company
plans to meet with the two rating agencies and expects that the
ratings for the notes will be received sometime thereafter.
After the ratings are received, the Company will promptly
announce any change to the coupon rates.

PR Contact:  Name:  Brad Burns
             Tel:  800-644-NEWS

PR Contact:  Name:  Peter Lucht
             Tel:  (800) 644-NEWS

PR Contact:  Name:  Gregory Pettit
             Role:  Investors
             Tel:  (877) 624-9266



=========
C H I L E
=========

COEUR D'ALENE: Files Registration Statements; Capital Needed
------------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE: CDE - News) announced
Tuesday that it filed a registration statement on Form S-3 with
the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") to register the
offer and sale by the Company from time to time of up to $250
million of various securities, which may include debt
securities, preferred stock, common stock and or warrants. The
Company will determine the use of proceeds of any particular
offering only if and when the Company actually sells securities,
but the Company currently expects that it will use the proceeds
of any sale of any securities registered on Form S-3
registration statement for general corporate purposes, which may
include expansion and development of existing operations,
possible acquisitions of mining properties or other mining
companies, for working capital to support the Company's growth
or the repayment of indebtedness. In addition, the Company filed
a registration statement on Form S-4 with the SEC to register
the offer by the Company from time to time of up to 50 million
shares of common stock to be used solely for exchanges, mergers,
asset acquisitions and other forms of business combinations.

The registration statements on Form S-3 and Form S-4 relating to
these securities filed with the SEC have not yet become
effective. These securities may not be sold nor may any offers
to buy be accepted prior to the time that the particular
registration statement becomes effective. This press release
shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an
offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in
any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or
sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification
under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction. The
offering of the securities shall be made only by means of a
prospectus contained in the registration statement filed with
and declared effective by the SEC.

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.

CONTACT:  Tony Ebersole
          Director of Investor Relations
          800-523-1535



===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================

* Fitch Comments on Dominican Republic's Paris Club Agreement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, commented
Wednesday on the completion of negotiations between the
Dominican Republic (DR) and the Paris Club to reschedule debt
service. The resulting agreement is expected to reduce debt
service due to Paris Club creditors from US$479 million to
US$293 million this year. The ratings on the Dominican
Republic's foreign and local currency obligations are 'CCC+'.
The ratings remain on Rating Watch Negative.

The government projects external financing needs of close to
US$1 billion in 2004, of which around US$700 million is covered
by multilateral and bilateral disbursements. With the Paris Club
rescheduling, the remaining financing gap is estimated at US$114
million.

As the authorities have agreed to seek 'comparable treatment'
from non-Paris Club bilateral and private creditors, the
likelihood of a bond restructuring is high. Comparability of
treatment considers the effects of duration, net present value,
flow relief, as well as the provision of new money. As such, it
is not yet clear the extent to which bondholders will be
affected, though Fitch believes it may prove challenging to
avoid a bond restructuring that involves an NPV loss. Although
the government has utilized grace periods, thus far they have
honored their external obligations, even under dire
circumstances. The government continues to state its desire to
avoid a bond restructuring, but this is likely to be contingent
upon negotiations with other creditors and the extent to which
'comparable treatment' is met by an NPV loss and maturity
extension on the aggregate of remaining non-multilateral debt.

Fitch will continue to monitor the Dominican Republic's progress
under the Stand-by Arrangement with the IMF as well as
negotiations with non-Paris Club creditors. Any additional
disbursement delays could make meeting debt service requirements
difficult. Fitch would view any future restructuring that
imposes a material loss in NPV terms to bondholders a default
event. In addition, if the government fails to cure its missed
coupon payment on the 2006 bond due March 27, prior to the
expiration of the 30-day grace period, the ratings will be
lowered to default.

Conversely, successful reviews of the country's Stand-by
Arrangement with the IMF, a favorable debt restructuring not
involving an event of default and a smooth transition to the
next government (following the May 16 presidential elections)
could ease pressures on the ratings going forward. Until there
is more clarification on the extent of non-Paris Club
rescheduling, the ratings will remain on Rating Watch Negative.

CONTACT:  Theresa Paiz Fredel +1-212-908-0534
          Roger M. Scher +1-212-908-0240, New York

MEDIA RELATIONS: James Jockle +1-212-908-0547, New York



=============
E C U A D O R
=============

PETROECUADOR: Anticipates Drilling Contract Bids In May
-------------------------------------------------------
In a statement released Wednesday, the president of Ecuador's
state oil company Petroecuador said the company expects to
receive bids for two integrated drilling services contracts on
May 17, reveals BNamericas. The two one-year contracts are
intended to reverse declining production on the company's oil
fields, Petroecuador president Pedro Espin said in the
statement.

The contracts, which are budgeted at US$14 million each
according to the statement, are expected to be awarded by the
company within three months, said a Petroecuador spokesperson.
One of the two new rigs will be for drilling vertical wells
guided by new 3D seismic data, while the other will drill
directional wells, both in the Amazon region.

The spokesperson said the contracts are designed to replace a
contract with US company Pride awarded in November 2003, which
was suspended because the rig did not meet the terms of the
tender according to the state purchasing officer. The Pride rig
was supposed to start drilling in the first quarter, but
Petroecuador has decided to award two contracts instead of one
since the two new contracts will not start until mid-year.



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

KAISER ALUMINUM: RUSAL Successful Bidder for Alpart Interests
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum announced that RUSAL was the successful bidder
for Kaiser's interests in and related to Alpart, a partnership
that owns bauxite mining operations and an alumina refinery in
Jamaica, with an offer providing a base purchase price of $295
million prior to certain adjustments. Kaiser made the
determination in consultation with the Unsecured Creditors
Committee and others at the conclusion of Tuesday's auction,
which had been ordered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware.

Kaiser's agreement to sell its interests in Alpart is subject to
the conditions cited below. Kaiser expects the Court to rule on
the agreement on April 26. The company has targeted a closing
date on the transaction near the end of the second quarter of
2004.

As previously disclosed, under Alpart's existing partnership
arrangement, Hydro Aluminium a.s., which currently owns the
remaining 35% of Alpart, retains the right -- for 30 days
following Kaiser's receipt of Court approval of any sale
transaction -- to elect to purchase Kaiser's interests at the
price specified in any agreement approved by the Court.

As discussed more fully in its Form 10-K for 2003, Kaiser is
working with the lenders under its Post-Petition Credit
Agreement to obtain an amendment to the Credit Agreement that,
among other things, would permit the sale of the company's
interests in and related to Alpart.

Kaiser Aluminum (OTCBB:KLUCQ) is a leading producer of
fabricated aluminum products, alumina and primary aluminum.



===========
M E X I C O
===========

GRUPO ELEKTRA: Deposits $293M Advanced Payment to Restructure
-------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: EKT - News; BMV: Elektra*),
Latin America's leading specialty retailer, consumer finance and
banking services company, announced Wednesday that it deposited
US$293.3 million (US$275.0 million of the principal, US$16.5
million of the 106% call price, and US$1.8 million of accrued
interest) in The Bank of New York, who acts as Trustee and
Paying Agent, to fully amortize four years in advance, the
Company's 12% US$275 million Senior Notes due in 2008. As
previously detailed, the payment that covers the call price plus
accrued interest is comprised of US$218 million from the
unsecured long-term Certificados Bursatiles, US$36 million from
the unsecured short-term Certificados Bursatiles, and US$39
million from the cash position of Grupo Elektra's retail
division. The redemption in advance of the Senior Notes is part
of the Company's ongoing plan to refinance its expensive debt
and to eliminate its exposure to foreign exchange fluctuations.

Javier Sarro, Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Elektra
commented: "The redemption of our Senior Notes calls for a
celebration within the Company. Grupo Elektra can proudly
announce it has completely eliminated all of its dollar-
denominated debt. Our two successful debt issuances in local
currency placed last month, and the determination to reduce
expensive debt since last year, were key factors that triggered
us to the position where we stand today. We believe that this
accomplishment reflects the commitment of Grupo Elektra to
create value for all of its beneficiaries."

"We are very proud to announce the accomplishment of one of the
main objectives set in our financial strategy," said Rodrigo
Pliego, Chief Financial Officer of Grupo Elektra. "We reached a
major goal of our financial strategy by completely eliminating
the Company's foreign exchange risk and interest expenses in US
dollars which will result in savings of approximately US$ 40
million in the next four years."

Going forward, Grupo Elektra will only carry peso-denominated
debt, out of which approximately 75% will be long-term. However,
the Company expects that the liability structure of the long-
term Certificados Bursatiles, which includes increasing annual
amortizations of capital starting on April 2006, should allow
Grupo Elektra to actually reduce its debt in the coming years.

Web site: http://www.grupoelektra.com.mx

Grupo Elektra is Latin America's leading specialty retailer,
consumer finance and banking services company. Grupo Elektra
sells retail goods and services through its Elektra, Salinas y
Rocha and Bodega de Remates stores and over the Internet. The
Group operates almost 900 stores in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
and Peru. Grupo Elektra also sells and markets its consumer
finance and banking products and services through its Banco
Azteca branches located within its stores. Financial services
include consumer credit, personal loans, money transfers,
extended warranties, savings accounts and term deposits.

    Investor Relations Contacts:

    Esteban Galindez, CFA
    Director of Finance and IR
    Grupo Elektra, S.A. de C.V.
    Tel. +011-52-55-8582-7819
    Fax. +011-52-55-8582-7822
    E-mail: egalindez@elektra.com.mx

    Samantha Pescador
    Investor Relations
    Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.
    Tel. +011-52-55-8582-7819
    Fax. +011-52-55-8582-7822
    E-mail: spescador@elektra.com.mx

    Rolando Villarreal
    Head of Investor Relations
    Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.
    Tel. +011-52-55-8582-7819
    Fax. +011-52-55-8582-7822
    E-mail: rvillarreal@elektra.com.mx


GRUPO MEXICO: Reverses Course; Posts 1Q Sales, Profit Gains
-----------------------------------------------------------
In a filing to the Mexican Stock Exchange, Mexican copper mining
company Grupo Mexico SA (GMEXICO.MX) said Wednesday that it has
registered sharp sales and profit gains in the first quarter
largely due to higher production volume and metals prices, Dow
Jones relates. Grupo Mexico, the world's third largest copper
producer with mining operations in Mexico, Peru and the U.S.,
said sales rose to MXN9.8 billion from MXN6.1 billion in the
first quarter of 2003. Operating profit, meanwhile, was MXN3.81
billion compared with MXN366.5 million for the same period last
year, and net profit was MXN2.51 billion, compared with a net
loss of MXN716.0 million.

The company also said it invested US$77.4 million in the first
quarter in its mining operations, while its Mexican railway unit
was allotted US$7.6 million.

The statement also said that its copper production rose 20% from
the year-ago period, with its Mexican mining unit raising copper
output by 54%. The company increased copper sales by 7% to
204,000 metric tons, keeping the remaining increase in
production in inventory. Molybdenum sales rose 18%, gold sales
37% and silver sales 7%, compared with the first quarter of
2003, the filing added.

Copper prices rose 62% to 123 cents a pound from 76 cents a
pound. Molybdenum prices rose 102% to US$8.04 a pound; zinc rose
36% to 48.5 cents a pound; silver was up 44% to US$6.71 an
ounce, and gold rose 16% to US$408.44 an ounce.



=============
U R U G U A Y
=============

UTE: Combined Cycle Plant Project Attracts Four Bidders
-------------------------------------------------------
A spokesperson for Uruguay's state-owned power company UTE said
four companies have submitted bids Wednesday for a turnkey
contract to build a 350-400MW combined cycle thermoelectric
power plant, BNamericas reports. Fiat Engineering do Brasil,
General Electric, Alstom and another unidentified company have
bid for the construction of the plant, which will be built in
the San Jos‚ department, some 15-20km from Montevideo, near a
city gate in the Cruz del Sur pipeline that brings natural gas
over from Argentina, the spokesperson said. Six other companies
have bought bidding rules, the spokesperson added. UTE will be
awarding the contract in the next two weeks after studying all
economic and technical bids.

UTE aims to speed up the construction of the plant, which is
projected to take about 18 months, to cover its energy shortfall
as a result of Argentina's decision last month to suspend power
exports.



=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================

CANTV: Signs Capacity Agreement with New World Network
------------------------------------------------------
New World Network, Ltd., a leading provider of advanced, high-
speed clear channel and IP services and the principal owner of
the Americas Region Caribbean Optical-ring System (ARCOS),
announced Wednesday a capacity services agreement with CANTV,
the leading provider of telecommunication services in Venezuela.

New World Network will provide fully protected capacity services
to CANTV through the ARCOS Submarine Cable System from Miami to
Venezuela.

"This agreement provides a long term solution for the rapid
growth of traffic to and from Venezuela, delivering a highly
resilient solution to CANTV," stated Alfonso Olombrada, General
Manager of Interconnection of CANTV. "The unique fiber ring
architecture helps us provide secure and dependable connectivity
that our customers expect from us," added Olombrada.

"Through this agreement, New World Network continues to
demonstrate its commitment to the region and its ongoing
relationship with CANTV by providing technologically advanced
fiber optic capacity services" said Eduardo Gandarilla, Senior
Vice President of Sales and Marketing of New World Network.

About CANTV

CANTV, a Venezuelan corporation, is the leading Venezuelan
telecommunications service provider with approximately 2.7
million access lines in service, 2.7 million cellular
subscribers and 1 million Internet users as of December 31,
2003. The Company's principal strategic shareholders are
affiliates of Verizon Communications Inc. with 28.5% of the
outstanding capital stock, and Telefonica S.A. with 6.9%. Other
major shareholders include the Venezuelan Government with 6.6%
of the outstanding capital stock (class B Shares), and
employees, retirees and employee trusts which own 9.0% (Class C
Shares). Public shareholders hold the remaining 48.9% of the
outstanding capital stock.

About New World Network

New World Network is a wholesale services provider that offers
advanced, high-speed bandwidth capacity to telecommunications
companies and Internet Service Providers. The company's Americas
Region Caribbean Optical-ring System (ARCOS) is the leading
undersea broadband fiber-optic cable network connecting the
U.S., Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
The unique hybrid ownership structure of ARCOS is co-owned by 28
carriers throughout the region and led by New World Network, the
principal owner with approximately 88.2% interest.

Web site: http://www.nwncable.com


PDVSA: Denies Shortages, Smuggling Enforcement Increased
--------------------------------------------------------
As part of its efforts to curb fuel smuggling to Colombia which
is reportedly causing fuel shortages in Venezuela's border
cities, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has begun restricting
and monitoring fuel sales more closely in those areas,
BNamericas says, citing a report from government news service
Venpres.

However, mines and energy minister Rafael Ramˇrez denied the
reported shortages, saying that the rumors of deficits are meant
to pressure the government into giving distributors higher
margins.

The Venpres report said that aside from causing fuel shortages
in border cities, smuggling is also hurting the PDVSA's
finances. Gasoline stations are in some cases buying over two
million liters of gasoline and diesel but registering sales of
less than half that amount, the report said.

Local daily El Universal, meanwhile, reported that distributors
buy the smuggled fuel from the El Vigˇa storage plant, where
restrictions in place have led to shortages at 80% of pumps in
T chira state. The paper also said the fuel shortages had caused
60% of the state's public transport to ground to a halt.


                       * * * * * * *


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 America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick and Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche,
Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
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members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


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