TCRLA_Public/040603.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

             Thursday, June 3, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 109



AGRO SAN BERNARDO: Liquidates Assets to Repay Debts
AMOROSI Y CIA: Court Converts Bankruptcy to Reorganization
CABLEVISION: S&P Withdraws Ratings at Company's Request
ESTABLECIMIENTOS OPTICOS: Court Authorizes Bankruptcy Petition
FRIGORIFICO LA IMPERIAL: Reorganization Now Official

HIDROELECTRICA EL CHOCON: $140M of Bonds Get `C' Rating
NEW MILENIUM: Initiates Bankruptcy on Court Orders
PAQUEAR S.A.: Court Orders Bankruptcy, Liquidation Follows
ROPAR: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
SCP: Unit Faces Involuntary Bankruptcy Petitions

SORCHI: Gets Court Authorization to Reorganize
STAR SOLUTIONS: Court Grants Reorganization Motion
STOCK INDUSTRIAL: Bankruptcy Initiated by Court Order
UNIBACK: Reorganization Approved by Court

* Argentina Releases New, Improved Debt Restructuring Plan
* Argentina's Largest Bondholder Group Rejects New Debt Plan


GLOBAL CROSSING: Details Bridge Financing Agreement Progress


GERDAU ACOMINAS: Fitch Affirms B+ Foreign Currency Rating
* BRAZIL: Faces $59.9M Lawsuit for Defaulted Bonds


TELEFONICA CTC: Local Insurers Oppose Unit's Sale


AVIANCA: Board Favors Sinergy's Takeover Bid
EMCALI: Workers Win Accord With Government


KAISER ALUMINUM: Court Confirms Termination of Retiree Benefits


DESC: Better Results, New Capital To Prepay $256M of Debt
EMPRESAS ICA: Signs MXN196 Mln Contract To Upgrade Airport
GRUPO IUSACELL: Misses $24.9M Interest Payment on $350M of Bonds
HYLSAMEX: Unit Prepays $70M in Bank Debt


AERO CONTINENTE: U.S. Freezes Assets, Puts Founder on Drug List


GALICIA URUGUAY: Trust Fund To Help Restore Financial Health
UTE: Relies on La Tablada Plant to Cover Energy Cuts


SIDOR: Faces Protests From Truck Drivers

     - - - - - - - - - -


AGRO SAN BERNARDO: Liquidates Assets to Repay Debts
Salta Commercial and Civil Court No. 1 declared Agro San
Bernardo S.R.L. bankrupt after the Company defaulted on its debt
payments. Infobae reports that the liquidation process will
proceed under the supervision of Mr. Luis Humberto Soraire the
court-appointed trustee.

Mr. Soraire will receive creditors' proofs of claims for
verification until June 14, 2004. The verified claims will form
the basis of the individual reports, which the court requires
for submission on August 10, 2004. A general report regarding
the status of the bankruptcy will be presented on September 27,

The bankruptcy will end with the liquidation of Company's assets
to satisfy creditors' claims.

CONTACT: Agro San Bernardo S.R.L.
         Avenida Paraguay 1203

         Mr. Luis Humberto Soraire, Trustee
         General Guemes 1349

AMOROSI Y CIA: Court Converts Bankruptcy to Reorganization
The liquidation order issued by Bahia Blanca Court No. 2 against
Amorosi y Cia S.A. has been revoked in favor of a
reorganization, states Infobae. With the opening of the
reorganization, the Company will begin drafting a settlement
plan for its creditors.

The court has not appointed the trustee who will oversee the
proceedings but the verification of creditors' claims is set to
end on August 20, 2004. Clerk No. 3 assists the court on this

CONTACT: Amorosi y Cia S.A.
         Reconquista 610
         Bahia Blanca

CABLEVISION: S&P Withdraws Ratings at Company's Request
Standard & Poor's Ratings ervices said Tuesday that it withdrew
its 'D' local and foreign currency corporate credit and debt
ratings on CableVision S.A. at the Company's request.

"CableVision is the largest Argentine TV-cable provider," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ivana Recalde.

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

           Marta Castelli, Buenos Aires
           (54) 114-891-2128

ESTABLECIMIENTOS OPTICOS: Court Authorizes Bankruptcy Petition
Buenos Aires Court No. 18 declared Establecimientos Opticos
Constelacion Saicif bankrupt, says La Nacion. The ruling comes
after the Company sought bankruptcy protection for unpaid
liabilities amounting to US$149,523.18. Clerk No. 35, Dr.
Alconada, assists the court on the case, which will conclude
with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

The Company's trustee, Ms. Elba Bengochea, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until July 7, 2004. This is done
to determine the nature and amount of the Company's debts.
Creditors must have their claims authenticated by the trustee
before the said date in order to qualify for the payments that
will be made after the Company's assets are liquidated.

CONTACT: Establecimientos Opticos Constelaci˘n Saicif
         Riobamba 340
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Elba Bengochea, Trustee
         Uriburu 1010
         Buenos Aires

FRIGORIFICO LA IMPERIAL: Reorganization Now Official
Judge Ojea Quintana of Buenos Aires Court No. 12 authorized
Frigorifico La Imperial Sacia y F to proceed with its planned
reorganization. Dr. Perea, Clerk No. 23, assists the court on
this case.

Argentine daily La Nacion reports that the reorganization will
be conducted under the direction of court-appointed trustee Mr.
Hugo Pantaleon. Mr. Pantaleon will accept creditors' proofs of
claim for verification until August 20, 2004.

CONTACT:  Frigorifico La Imperial Sacia y F
          Guamini 2063/7
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Hugo Pantaleon, Trustee
          Avenida Corrientes 1450
          Buenos Aires

HIDROELECTRICA EL CHOCON: $140M of Bonds Get `C' Rating
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. assigned a `C'
rating to corporate bonds issued by Argentine company
Hidroelectrica El Chocon S.A., according to data revealed by the
Comision Nacional de Valores (CNV), Argentina's securities
regulator, on its Web site.

The bonds, worth US$140 million, were issued under "Simple
Issue" and described as "Obligaciones Negociables." These bonds
matured on Feb. 19, 2004. The rating action was taken based on
the Company's financial health as of March 31, 2004.

Bonds with a `C' rating are of poor standing, says Moody's. Such
issues may be in default, or there may be elements of danger
with respect to principal or interest.

NEW MILENIUM: Initiates Bankruptcy on Court Orders
New Milenium S.R.L., operating in Buenos Aires, entered
bankruptcy as the city's Court No. 4 ruled that it is "Quiebra."
Infobae reveals that the city's Clerk No. 7 aids the court on
the process.

The court appointed Mr. Ernesto Iob as the Company's trustee.
Creditors must submit their proofs of claim to the trustee for
verification before August 18, 2004. The receiver is also
required to prepare the individual and general reports on the
bankruptcy process.

CONTACT: Mr. Ernesto Iob, Trustee
         Tte Gral Peron 1186
         Buenos Aires

PAQUEAR S.A.: Court Orders Bankruptcy, Liquidation Follows
Buenos Aires Court No. 26, with the assistance of Clerk No. 51,
declared Paquear S.A. bankrupt, reports Infobae. The liquidation
order came after the Company defaulted on its debt payments.
Under bankruptcy protection, the Company will turn over its
assets to a court-appointed trustee tasked with supervising the
liquidation process. The court has not provided the name of the
trustee or the deadline of the verification period.

CONTACT: Paquear S.A.
         Bucarelli 941/943
         Buenos Aires

ROPAR: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
Judge Bavastro of Buenos Aires Court No. 17 declared food
company Ropar S.R.L. "Quiebra", relates local daily La Nacion.
The court approved the bankruptcy petition filed by Mr. Jose
Vazquez Blanco, to whom the Company failed to pay debts
amounting to US$4,496.55.

Ropar will undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Marcos
Livszyc as its trustee. Creditors are required to present their
proofs of claim to the trustee for verification before September
9, 2004. Creditors who fail to have their claims authenticated
before the said date will be disqualified from the payments that
will be made after the Company's assets are liquidated at the
end of the bankruptcy process.

Dr. Trebino Figueroa, Clerk No. 33 assists the court on the

         Avenida Rafael Obligado
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Marcos Livszyc, Trustee
         Nunez 3687
         Buenos Aires

SCP: Unit Faces Involuntary Bankruptcy Petitions
Parque de la Costa, the tourism subsidiary of Argentine holding
company Sociedad Comercial del Plata (SCP), is now facing
bankruptcy petitions filed against the unit by two unnamed
creditors, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

SCP, in a brief filing to the local stock exchange Tuesday, said
that the subsidiary, whose main business is operating an
amusement park in Buenos Aires province, is in talks with the
same creditors to restructure ARS52,600 ($1=ARS2.96125) in debt.

"It's expected that a resolution on this matter will be arrived
at in the next few days," SCP said.

SCP is going through its own bankruptcy procedure and debt
restructuring. It faces three objections to its debt offer,
which calls for an 80% reduction on about US$110 million of
debt. That case is waiting to be heard in a higher commercial

Established in 1927, SCP is a diversified industrial holding
company mainly involved with public services, construction and
engineering. Owner of the fastest growing oil company in
Argentina, both in upstream and downstream activities it also
holds a dominant market position in growing public services
managed by international operators. Recent unique real state
developments provide a new source for additional growth in

CONTACT: Sociedad Comercial del Plata
         Av. Davila 350
         Buenos Aires, Argentina
         Phone: 54 1 310-0490
         Fax: 54 1 310-0493

SORCHI: Gets Court Authorization to Reorganize
Sorchi S.A. will begin reorganization following the approval of
its petition by Mar del Plata Court No. 1. The opening of the
reorganization will allow the Company to negotiate a settlement
with its creditors in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

Mr. Antonio Rakijar will oversee the reorganization proceedings
as the court-appointed Trustee. He will verify creditors' claims
until July 1, 2004. The validated claims will be presented in
court as individual reports on September 2, 2004.

The Trustee is also required by the court to submit a general
report essentially auditing the company's accounting and
business records as well as summarizing important events
pertaining to the reorganization. This report will be presented
in court on October 22, 2004.

Clerk No. 1 assists the court in the reorganization proceedings.

CONTACT:  Sorchi S.A.
          Avda Polonia 503
          Mar del Plata

          Mr. Antonio Rakijar, Trustee
          Catamarca 2072
          Mar del Plata

STAR SOLUTIONS: Court Grants Reorganization Motion
Star Solutions S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires, begins
reorganization proceedings after the city's Court No. 9, with
assistance from Clerk No. 18, granted its petition for "concurso
preventivo". During the process, the company will be able to
negotiate a settlement proposal for its creditors so as to avoid
a straight liquidation.

According to Argentine news source Infobae, the reorganization
will be conducted under the direction of Mr. Raul Jose Abella,
the court-appointed trustee.

Creditors with claims against Star Solutions S.A. must present
proofs of the company's indebtedness to the trustee before
August 2, 2004. These claims will constitute the individual
reports to be submitted in court on September 13, 2004. The
court also requires the trustee to present an audit of the
company's accounting and business records through a general
report due on October 25, 2004.

The informative assembly, the final stage of a reorganization
where the settlement proposal is presented for creditor
approval, is scheduled on April 28, 2005.

CONTACT: Mr. Raul Jose Abella, Trustee
         Uruguay 660
         Buenos Aires

STOCK INDUSTRIAL: Bankruptcy Initiated by Court Order
Stock Industrial S.R.L. is set to wind-up its operations after
Buenos Aires Court No. 7, with the assistance of Clerk No. 14,
ordered the Company's liquidation. The bankruptcy order
effectively transfers control of the Company's assets to the
court-appointed trustee who will also supervise the liquidation

Infobae reports that the court selected Mr. Luciano Arturo
Melagari as the court's trustee. He will be validating
creditors' proofs of claim until the end of the verification
phase on June 24, 2004.

Argentine bankruptcy law requires the trustee to provide the
court with individual reports on the forwarded claims and a
general report containing an audit of the company's accounting
and business records. The individual reports will be submitted
on September 6, 2004 followed by the general report, which is
due on October 20, 2004.

CONTACT: Stock Industrial S.R.L.
         Guemes 4338
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Luciano Arturo Melagari, Trustee
         Bartolome Mitre 1131
         Buenos Aires

UNIBACK: Reorganization Approved by Court
Buenos Aires Court No. 26, with assistance from Clerk No. 52,
granted Uniback S.A.'s petition for reorganization, reports
Infobae. Mr. Carlos Rapetti, the court-appointed Trustee, will
now receive creditor's proofs of claim for verification. The
verification phase continues until August 6, 2004.

Individual reports pertaining to the reorganization will be
presented in court on September 20, 2004. The submission of the
general report follows on November 2, 2004. All validated
creditors of the company will ratify the reorganization
settlement proposal during the informative assembly scheduled on
March 28, 2005.

CONTACT: Uniback S.A.
         Avda Santa Fe 900
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Carlos Rapetti, Trustee
         Echeverria 2670
         Buenos Aires

* Argentina Releases New, Improved Debt Restructuring Plan
Argentina unveiled a new debt restructuring plan Tuesday,
outlining some significant improvements from the initial
proposal made in September last year at the annual meetings of
the International Monetary Fund in Dubai.

Presenting the proposal in a news conference, Economy Minister
Roberto Lavagna said the new proposal would impose net present
value losses of 75% on bondholders, once principal reductions,
interest rate cuts and maturity extensions are taken into
account. That compares with a calculation of 92% that analysts
made after the Dubai proposal was released.

A key factor in the improved result for bondholders is a
commitment to pay between US$18 billion and US$23 billion in
past-due interest accrued since the December 2001 default. And
Lavagna said that an additional mechanism linking future bond
payments to gross domestic product could "significantly" reduce
the net present value "haircut" below the 75% estimate if the
government's own "conservative" growth estimates are surpassed
in the years ahead.

Mr. Lavagna said this is "absolutely" the final offer.

* Argentina's Largest Bondholder Group Rejects New Debt Plan
Argentina's biggest bondholder group, Global Committee of
Argentine Bondholders (GCAB), rejected the new debt proposal
announced earlier Tuesday by Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna,
reports Dow Jones Newswires.

According to GCAB co-chairman Han Humes, the proposal was made
without promised consultation. He said the committee, which
accounts for some US$37 billion in bonds held by foreign
investors, would not attend meetings planned next week in Buenos
Aires in which the government will outline its new proposal.

"GCAB is extremely disappointed by the announcement by Minister
Roberto Lavagna," Humes said, calling it the "final step in a
sequence of broken promises."

"The whole thing is they made a commitment to talk to us but
they didn't do it," he said. Humes highlighted the failure to
conduct technical meetings promised between GCAB members and the
government's designated advisory banks. After perfunctory
meetings on April 16, both sides had agreed to hold these
technical meetings 15 days later to compare different
macroeconomic projections and debt sustainability models. Those
meetings were never held.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Details Bridge Financing Agreement Progress
Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBCE - News) announced Tuesday that it
has received the first $40 million installment under its
previously announced bridge financing agreement of $100 million
from an affiliate of Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST
Telemedia). The funds will be used for Global Crossing's
business operations.

Under the facility, which matures on December 31, 2004, Global
Crossing may borrow in phases over the next several months,
subject to the conditions of the agreement. The next
installment, scheduled for August 1, 2004, provides for the
company to receive an additional $40 million. The final
installment of $20 million is scheduled for October 1, 2004.

The loan agreement, including a number of significant conditions
related to financial targets and the company's cost of access
review, is set forth in the company's Form 8-K filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on May 19, 2004. ST Telemedia
waived the condition of the agreement calling for Deloitte &
Touche to have issued a report regarding its cost of access
investigation satisfactory to ST Telemedia before the June 1
drawdown; that condition will apply to the August 1 installment.


Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBCE - News) provides
telecommunications solutions over the world's first integrated
global IP-based network. Its core network connects more than 300
cities and 30 countries worldwide, and delivers services to more
than 500 major cities, 50 countries and 6 continents around the
globe. The company's global sales and support model matches the
network footprint and, like the network, delivers a consistent
customer experience worldwide.

Global Crossing IP services are global in scale, linking the
world's enterprises, governments and carriers with customers,
employees and partners worldwide in a secure environment that is
ideally suited for IP-based business applications, allowing e-
commerce to thrive. The company offers a full range of managed
data and voice products including Global Crossing IP VPN
Service, Global Crossing Managed Services and Global Crossing
VoIP services, to more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500, as
well as 700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs.


    Press Contacts
    Becky Yeamans
    + 1 973-937-0155

    Kendra Langlie
    Latin America
    + 1 305-808-5912

    Mish Desmidt
    + 44 (0) 7771-668438

    Analysts/Investors Contact
    Mitch Burd
    + 1 800-836-0342

    Web site:


GERDAU ACOMINAS: Fitch Affirms B+ Foreign Currency Rating
Fitch Ratings affirmed its 'BBB-,' local currency rating and its
'B+,' foreign currency rating of Gerdau Acominas S.A (Gerdau
Acominas). Fitch has also assigned a national scale rating to
Gerdau Acominas of 'AA(bra)'.The foreign currency rating is
constrained by the Federative of Brazil's 'B+,' foreign currency
rating. The Rating Outlook for all the ratings is Stable.

Fitch has also assigned a preliminary rating of 'BBB-' to the
proposed US$128 million issuance by Brazil Steel Importer Ltd, a
Cayman Islands special-purpose company (SPC). The transaction
securitizes receivables originated from steel export sales by
Gerdau Acominas S.A. (the originator). This issuance adds to the
outstanding amount issued in 2003 of US$105 million. The 2003
issue rating is affirmed at 'BBB-'.

Gerdau Acominas will sell substantially all of its steel for
export to Acominas Overseas Limited (the seller), a wholly owned
Cayman Islands subsidiary of Gerdau Acominas. In exchange for
the proceeds of the offering, the seller will transfer the
rights to receivables to Brazilian Steel Importer Ltd. (the
issuer). The assigned 'BBB-' preliminary rating is higher than
Gerdau Acominas' foreign currency rating of 'B+,' as the
transaction mitigates certain sovereign and corporate related
risks. Fitch believes that Grdau Acominas' current and future
steel export business is adequate to support the future flow

Gerdau Acominas' ratings reflect its strong financial profile
and its position as one of the industry's lowest cost steel
producers. As a low-cost producer, the company generates
positive cash flows during cyclical downturns. The company's low
cost structure is a result of its vertical integration and
access to low-cost raw material resources and labor. Its cost
structure has improved as a result of the devaluation of the
Brazilian real over the last several years and the low levels of
inflation. Gerdau Acominas ratings also consider the company's
dominant market position in Brazil's long-products market and
the concentrated nature of the Brazilian steel industry, which
limits competition based solely upon price. In addition, high
transportation costs minimize the amount of steel imported into
the Brazilian market.

The financial results of Gerdau Acominas are consolidated into
those of its parent company Gerdau S.A. (Gerdau). At Dec. 31,
2003, Gerdau had consolidated debt of US$2.2 billion. About 30%,
or US$667 million, of the company's consolidated total debt is
at its North American operations, and approximately 53% of the
total debt is at companies in Brazil. Although the group's North
American operations are not as profitable as those in Brazil,
the combined entity still maintains a solid financial profile.

In 2003, Gerdau generated consolidated net revenues of US$4.5
billion and EBITDA of US$880 million. Compared with the prior
year, revenues and EBITDA increased 39% and 16%, respectively,
mainly due to an increase in the spread between scrap prices and
steel prices and larger sales volumes from the Ouro Branco mill
and from the inclusion of the Co-Steel, Inc. (Co-Steel)
acquisition as of October 2002. With total consolidated debt of
US$2.2 billion and cash of US$331 million at year-end 2003,
Gerdau's leverage, as measured by net debt-to-EBITDA, was 2.1
times (x) and the ratio of total debt-to-EBITDA was 2.5x. The
ratio of EBITDA-to-interest expense improved to 6.5x in 2003
from 5.7x in 2002.

The financial performance of Gerdau Acominas on a pro forma
basis for 2003 (as all the Brazilian assets had been
restructured into one combined entity for the entire year)
indicates an even stronger financial profile. Gerdau Acominas
generated net revenues of US$2.4 billion and EBITDA of US$684
million. With total debt of US$1.2 billion, the company's
leverage, as measured by total debt-to-EBITDA, was 1.6x and the
ratio of EBITDA-to-interest expense was 20.0x.

During 2004, Fitch expects Gerdau to generate more than US$1.0
billion of EBITDA on a consolidated basis. The 15% increase over
2003 EBITDA of US$880 million is expected to come from higher
average prices and margins, especially at the North American
operations. Gerdau's net debt should remain at about US$1.8
billion at year-end 2004. Consequently, Fitch projects the
company will end 2004 with a net debt/EBITDA ratio of
approximately 1.8x, a total debt-to-EBITDA ratio of about 2.2x
and an interest coverage of about 7.0x. These ratios are
consistent with the rating category, given the current dynamics
of the steel industry.

* BRAZIL: Faces $59.9M Lawsuit for Defaulted Bonds
Brazil's central bank is set to defend against a US$59.9 million
lawsuit filed by CIBC Bank & Trust Co., a Cayman Islands
subsidiary of Toronto-based CIBC, acting as trustee for members
of the Dart family of Florida. Along with the central bank,
Bloomberg also names Brazil's state-controlled Banco do Brasil
S.A., the country's largest bank, and Citigroup Inc. as co-
defendants in the case.

Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York admitted the case after CIBC successfully
presented a cause of action for breach of contract. This breach
refers to bonds Brazil defaulted in the 1980's.

The Dart family, owners of Dart Container Corp., has secured
considerable interests in defaulted Latin American debts in
recent years. The family trust attempted in 1994 to convert
about US$1.4 billion of defaulted debt into Brazilian
capitalization bonds, a restructuring option offered by the
country to its investors. However, Brazil's rejection of the
proposal caused Dart's trustees to withdraw from the
restructuring and eventually press charges.


TELEFONICA CTC: Local Insurers Oppose Unit's Sale
Telefonica Moviles' US$1-billion offer to acquire mobile-phone
Company Telefonica Movil from sister-company Telefonica CTC
Chile has met opposition from local insurers. This development
comes in the wake of arguments presented last week by pension
funds known as AFP's against the purchase proposal.

Business News Americas reveals that the insurance companies, who
own 1.5 % of CTC, have called for an extraordinary general
meeting of shareholders to ratify the proposal. The fund
managers have also submitted a petition asking to revise CTC's
statutes in order to require 67% shareholder support instead of
the 50.1% now in place. Local daily La Tercera, however, states
that sweetening the offer might win the insurers' approval.

CTC will present ABN Amro and JP Morgan's valuation for
Telefonica Movil during the sharehodler's meeting scheduled on
the first half of July.


AVIANCA: Board Favors Sinergy's Takeover Bid
The board of directors at Colombia's troubled flagship airline
Avianca picked a takeover bid from Brazil's Grupo Sinergy over a
rival one involving U.S.-based Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL).
In a press release Tuesday, Avianca, which filed for bankruptcy
protection in March 2003 in New York, said that Sinergy's offer
"adequately complies with the necessary requirements for the
company to emerge from Chapter 11 in a satisfactory way."

The carrier rejected a separate bid by Houston-based Continental
and partner Copa Airlines of Panama, saying it was "subject to
numerous conditions."

In March, Sinergy offered to buy a 75% stake in Avianca in
exchange for a $64-million cash injection and the assumption of
about $300 million of the airline's debt. A month later,
Continental chief executive Gordon Bethune made a counter-bid.
Although the terms of Continental's bid weren't disclosed,
members of Colombia's pilots union have said Continental offered
more stability to Avianca employees than Sinergy.

Avianca said it will now present a financial restructuring plan
to the bankruptcy court based on Sinergy's offer.

EMCALI: Workers Win Accord With Government
Sintraemcali, the Empresas Municipales de Cali (Emcali) workers
union, successfully reached an agreement on Sunday with city and
departmental officials after a 4-day protest, which saw union
members and community supporters taking control of the company's
offices in Cali, the capital of Colombia's Valle del Cauca
department. reports that around 1,600 city workers joined the
rally on May 26,2004 to oppose Emcali's pact with its creditors
as well as protest subsidy decreases and service rate hikes
implemented by the Colombian government.

The seven-point accord signed by Valle del Cauca governor
Angelino Garz˘n, Cali mayor Apolinar Salcedo Caicedo and
Sintraemcali president Luis Hern ndez Monroy assures among other
things that city officials will set-up a meeting between
Sintraemcali and President Alvaro Uribe V‚lez of Colombia to
discuss the government's plans for the troubled public services
company. The agreement also proposes plans for the future of
Emcali as a city agency and discourages reprisals against
workers who joined the strike.


KAISER ALUMINUM: Court Confirms Termination of Retiree Benefits
Kaiser Aluminum said that, in a hearing last Tuesday, the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware issued a ruling
that has the net effect of confirming the previously announced
May 31 termination date of certain existing retiree benefit
programs such as medical coverage and life insurance.

Union and salaried retirees whose benefits are terminated are
being provided with alternative benefits under COBRA or newly
formed Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs). Such
changes were previously agreed with the United Steelworkers of
America (USWA), certain other unions, and the committee
representing the interests of salaried retirees.

At the same time, the Court also ruled Tuesday that the
Unsecured Creditors' Committee(UCC) would have the right to
direct the company to terminate those agreements if Kaiser and
the UCC have not signed and filed a Court motion requesting
approval of a separate Intercompany Settlement by June 30, 2004.

As more fully discussed in Kaiser's Form 10-Q for the first
quarter of 2004, the Inter-company Settlement is intended to
resolve pre-petition and post-petition inter-company claims.

CONTACT: Mr. Scott Lamb
         Kaiser Aluminum
         Telephone: (713) 332-4751

         Web Site:


DESC: Better Results, New Capital To Prepay $256M of Debt
DESC, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: DES; BMV: DESC) announced Tuesday that
as a result of the capital increase approved at the Annual
Shareholders' Meeting held on March 8, 2004, and given the cash
flow generated by the operation, the Company will prepay US$256
million of its debt. This prepayment reduces Desc's net debt by
approximately 23% leaving a balance to date of US$757 million.

The prepayment is being applied in the following manner: US$162
million towards long-term bank credits, US$20 million towards
the revolving bank credit line (both of which form part of the
syndicated credit restructured last December) and US$74 million
towards Desc's dollar-denominated bond with a coupon rate of
8.75% and maturing in October

These measures reflect the Company's commitment to improve its
financial situation by reducing debt, optimizing its weighted
average cost of debt, improving financial indicators and
positioning itself to recover its profitability levels.

Dollars figures are estimates.

DESC, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: DES; BMV: DESC) is one of the largest
industrial groups in Mexico, with 2003 sales of approximately
US$2 billion and nearly 14,000 employees, which through its
subsidiaries is a leader in the Automobile Parts, Chemical, Food
and Property sectors.

CONTACTS:  Marisol Vazquez Mellado
           Jorge Padilla Ezeta
           Tel: (5255) 5261-8044

           Web site:

           Maria Barona
           Melanie Carpenter
           Tel: 212-406-3690

EMPRESAS ICA: Signs MXN196 Mln Contract To Upgrade Airport
Empresas ICA Sociedad Controladora (NYSE and BMV: ICA), the
largest engineering, procurement, and construction company in
Mexico, announced Tuesday the signing of a MXN196 million
contract with Airports and Auxiliary Services for works on the
Toluca International Airport, in the State of Mexico.

The contract is a traditional, unit-price public works contract,
and includes the repaving of runway 15-33, taxiways, platforms,
widening of ramps in the hangar area, the construction of
service roads, and new visual landing aids. The airport will be
the first in Mexico to use Category III-B visual landing aids.

The project will have a term of 7 months, with work beginning on
May 31 and scheduled completion on December 31, 2004. The
airport will continue in normal operation during the
construction project.

Founded in 1947, ICA has completed construction and engineering
projects in 21 countries. ICA's principal business units include
Civil Construction and Industrial Construction. Through its
subsidiaries, ICA also develops housing, manages airports, and
operates tunnels, highways, and municipal services under
government concession contracts and/or partial sale of long term
contract rights.

GRUPO IUSACELL: Misses $24.9M Interest Payment on $350M of Bonds
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CEL; BMV) announced Tuesday
that it did not make the US$24.9 million interest payment
corresponding to the 14.25% bond of US$350 million due in 2006.
Concurrently and regarding the press release dated May 28, in
which the Company disclosed the nonpayment of the first
amortization of the principal of the Amended and Restated Senior
Secured Loan Agreement of US$266 million, the Company seeks to
clarify that it referred to the Credit Agreement dated March 29,
2001 (Syndicated Loan) executed by its main subsidiary, Grupo
Iusacell Celular, S.A. de C.V. (Grupo Iusacell Celular).

The Company continues to work on its debt restructuring process
and the debt restructure of Grupo Iusacell Celular and

Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. (Iusacell, NYSE: CEL; BMV) is a
wireless cellular and PCS service provider in seven of Mexico's
nine regions, including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey,
Tijuana, Acapulco, Puebla, Leon and Merida. The Company's
service regions encompass a total of approximately 92 million
POPs, representing approximately 90% of the country's total

HYLSAMEX: Unit Prepays $70M in Bank Debt
Mexican steelmaker Hylsamex announced Tuesday that its main
subsidiary, Hylsa, has prepaid US$70 million in bank loans.
In a filing with the bourse, Hylsamex said the payment was in
addition to a US$15-million payment the Company made on the
debt's principal in April.

The Monterrey-based company said the prepayments represented 11%
of the total debt of Hylsa at the end of March. As a result of
these payments, the Company now only had principal payments of
less than US$1 million this year and US$61 million in 2005.

"Hylsa remains committed to improving its financial profile and
aims to use cash surpluses for additional debt reductions,"
Hylsamex told the bourse.

Hylsamex, which is 51%-owned by Alfa, shed US$42 million in net
debt last year, leaving it with debts of US$1.01 billion by

CONTACT:  Hylsamex S.A. de C.V.
          101 Ave Munich Cuauhtemoc
          66452 San Nicolas de los Garza
          Nuevo Leon
          Phone: +52 81 8865 2828
          Fax: +52 81 8865 1210
          Home Page:
          Engr. Dionisio Garza Medina, Chairman
          Alejandro Elizondo Barragan, Chief Executive Engr


AERO CONTINENTE: U.S. Freezes Assets, Puts Founder on Drug List
Aero Continente, Peru's largest airline, was dealt a heavy blow
Tuesday when the U.S. government decided to freeze the airline's
U.S.-based assets and placed the airline's founder on its list
of overseas drug kingpins, the AP reports.

The decision came after a Lima court opened proceedings against
Aero Continente founder Fernando Zevallos on cocaine trafficking
charges. But according to a judiciary spokesman, the three-judge
tribunal quickly adjourned the trial until June 11 to allow
prosecutors more time to prepare their case.

Under the 1999 Drug Kingpin Act, people placed on the U.S. list
of drug traffickers and their related businesses are denied
access to the U.S. financial system and any transactions
involving U.S. companies and individuals.

This would pose an operational impediment for the Peruvian
airline since it means that U.S. companies that sell Boeing
airplane parts are now banned from providing them to Aero
Continente to maintain its fleet of jets.


GALICIA URUGUAY: Trust Fund To Help Restore Financial Health
Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires announced Tuesday that banking
system regulatory authorities in Argentina and Uruguay have
approved a trust fund that will help its Uruguayan unit get back
on its feet, relates Dow Jones Newswires. In a filing to the
Buenos Aires stock exchange, Banco de Galicia stated that the
trust fund, "once implemented, will bring greater backing for
Banco Galicia Uruguay SA's obligations."

At the same time, the Uruguayan central bank will begin
restoring "statutory authority" to the institution, the
statement added.

However, Banco de Galicia said the approval of the trust fund
doesn't mean that Banco Galicia Uruguay is able to begin
functioning as a commercial bank again. To that end, the
Uruguayan central bank will continue overseeing operations at
the institution until the trust fund is set up, the statement

Uruguay's central bank closed Banco Galicia Uruguay in February
2002 as Argentina's financial crisis spilled over into the
neighboring country. At that time, about US$1.2 billion in
deposits were frozen. The suspension has been rolled over
multiple times, with the latest 60-day extension coming at the
end of March. The Uruguayan central bank has said the
institution's re-opening is dependent on progress in the debt
restructuring of Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires.

CONTACT:  Banco de Galicia Y Buenos Aires
          Tte Gral Juan D Peron 407
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: +54 11 6329 0000
          Fax: +54 11 6329 6100
          Home Page:
          Juan Martin Etchegoyhen, Chairman
          Antonio R. Garces, Vice Chairman

          Grupo Financiero Galicia SA
          2nd Floor
          No 456 Tte Gral Juan D Peron
          Buenos Aires
          Argentina 1038
          Phone: +54 11 4343 7528/9475
          Home Page:
          Contact: Atty. Abel Ayerza, Chairman

UTE: Relies on La Tablada Plant to Cover Energy Cuts
UTE, state-owned Uruguayan power company, will switch on its
220MW La Tablada diesel-powered plant pending negotiations for a
new interconnection agreement with Brazil that is expected to be
completed by June 2 this year.

The La Tablada plant will be much more expensive to operate than
importing power from Brazil but Uruguay was left with no choice
after its agreement to purchase 200MW of supplies from the
country ended on May 31. Brazil's supply was intended to lower
electric costs in Uruguay and make up for the energy shortage
after Argentina discontinued export contracts in March.

Business News Americas reports that Brazilian power trader
Enertrade won a contract from UTE last week to sell 70MW of
power to Uruguay. However, the contract, which will run until
November 30, 2004, is not enough to cover the 338MW supplied by
Argentina prior to the energy cuts.


SIDOR: Faces Protests From Truck Drivers
Business News Americas reports that a 24-hour strike launched by
truck drivers servicing steel company Sidor in Puerto Ordaz City
will affect national deliveries by around 200 trucks. Venezuelan
press have quoted drivers as saying that the strike will
continue until Sidor agrees to a meeting with their leaders to
discuss improved working conditions.

Sidor, a Venezuelan steel company, has just come off a strike
led by Sutiss union members that paralyzed operations and cost
Sidor some US$3 million in daily losses.


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, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and
Lucilo Junior M. Pinili, Editors.

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

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