TCRLA_Public/040915.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

         Wednesday, September 15, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 183



ARGEN SERVI: Court OKs Creditor's Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
BANCO BISEL: Former Clients Sue Credit Agricole
CAPEX: Reports Gloomier Results Due to Bigger Financial Losses
CCI: Darby Files Involuntary Bankruptcy Petition
CONCORDIA VIDEO: Gets Green Light to Proceed With Reorganization

DEMYCO S.A.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
DINAR: Court Ratifies Bankruptcy Ruling
DUSTON SACI: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
MASTELLONE HERMANOS: Huff Blocks Accord On Debt Restructuring
PRODECOM S.A.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition

ROYAL SHELL: Argentine Unit Eyed By PDVSA
* ARGENTINA: Lavagna Junks Creditor Request For Talks


FOSTER WHEELER: Renews Global Alliance Agreement With Intergraph
GLOBAL CROSSING: Seeks Additional NASDAQ Extension


CELG: Plans Share Offer, New Market Listing
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: To Upgrade Shares To Bovespa Level 2
LIGHT SERVICOS: Plans Launch of PLC Internet Service


EDT: Startup Telco Completes Payoff
PAZ DEL RIO: Board To Assess Italian Firms' Proposal Thursday
* S&P Assigns 'BB' Rating to Colombia's $500M Bond


GRUPO IUSACELL: Signs Network Deal With Ectel
HECLA MINING: Moody's Ups Sr. Implied Rating to Caa1
HYLSAMEX: Analysts Say Alfa To Expedite Sale
TV AZTECA: Defines Road Map for Digital Transmissions

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


ARGEN SERVI: Court OKs Creditor's Involuntary Bankruptcy Motion
Judge Bargallo of Court No. 11 declared Argentine cleaning
company Argen Servi S.A. bankrupt, reports La Nacion.

The ruling comes in approval of the bankruptcy petition filed by
Ms. Norma Diaz for nonpayment of US$1477.33 in debt.

Clerk No. 21, Dra. Macchi, assists the court on the case, which
will conclude with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

The Company's trustee, Mr. Ricardo Garcia, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until October 28, 2004. This is
done to determine the nature and amount of the Company's debts.
Creditors must have their claims authenticated by the trustee by
the said date in order to qualify for the payments that will be
made after the Company's assets are liquidated.

CONTACT:  Argen Servi S.A.
          Scalabrini Ortiz 2894
          Piso 5 "B"
          Mr. Ricardo Garcia, TRUSTEE
          Lavalle 1206
          Piso 2 "C"

BANCO BISEL: Former Clients Sue Credit Agricole
Thirty-seven former customers of Banco Bisel have filed suit
against French bank Credit Agricole (CA), the Argentine bank's
former parent, claiming EUR7.5 million in owed deposits plus
damages and interest, reports the Europe Intelligence Wire.

The suit stems from the CA's withdrawal from Argentina in the
midst of the country's financial crisis in 2002, and its
decision to close down Banco Bisel's branches in the country.

In their suit, the plaintiffs claim that CA failed to meet its
commitments to customers with its refusal to infuse new capital
into Banco Bisel after the Argentinian Peso was devalued in
January 2002. CA then closed Banco Bisel's branches the
following May.

By comparison, rival French bank Societe Generale injected US$50
million into its own Argentinian subsidiary at the time.

In response, the lawyers of the French bank said its actions
were within Argentine law, and that Banco Bisel and CA were two
distinct institutions.

The hearing will commence on November 10.

CAPEX: Reports Gloomier Results Due to Bigger Financial Losses
Argentine gas producer and power generator Capex posted bigger
losses for the quarter ended July 31, 2004, reports Business
News Americas, citing a company filing to the Buenos Aires stock

In the filing, the company revealed losses of ARS20.6 million
(US$6.9 million) in the recent quarter, compared to ARS272,000
in the same quarter last year. The company attributed the recent
quarter's poor results to financial losses of ARS31.2 million.
In the same period a year ago, financial losses were ARS6.98

Capex registered a 20.9% increase in sales to ARS72.5 million,
of which power sales (1,225MWh) represented 62%, oil sales
(25,280 cubic meters) represented 20.8%, propane (9,226 tonnes)
represented 11.7% and butane (5,661 tonnes) represented 5.5%.

Capex produces natural gas at the Agua del Cajon area of Neuquen
province, where it has a wellhead power plant.

          5/F DepartmentC
          948/950 Av Cordoba
          Buenos Aires
          Phone: +54 11 4322 4884
          Home Page:
          Enrique Gotz, Chairman
          Dr. Alejandro Enrique Gotz, Vice Chairman

CCI: Darby Files Involuntary Bankruptcy Petition
Just like the International Finance Corporation (IFC),
investment fund Darby International Latin American Mezzanine
Holding Ltd. has filed for the involuntary bankruptcy of
Argentine toll concessionaire Compania de Concesiones
Infraestructura (CCI), as part of a dispute over the repayment
of a loan granted by the IFC and the fund before the devaluation
of the Argentine currency.

Both the IFC and Darby filed the bankruptcy petitions before
commercial court 26, secretariat 46, after failing to reach an
agreement with CCI.

The dispute is related to a US$50-million loan that the IFC and
Darby granted to CCI in January 2000 in exchange for a pledge on
shares representing 60% of CCI's capital stock. While CCI wants
to convert the loan into Argentine pesos at a one to one rate,
the IFC and Darby refuse to accept this condition, they want to
be paid off in US dollars.

CONCORDIA VIDEO: Gets Green Light to Proceed With Reorganization
Judge Herrera of Court No. 3 approved the "Concurso Preventivo"
petition filed by Argentine cable TV provider Concordia Video
Cable S.A., reports local news source La Nacion.

The Company, which listed assets of US$14,238,704.65 and
liabilities of US$2,897,944.99, will undergo a reorganization
process, with Estudio Susana L. Prisant y Asociados as trustee.

The trustee will verify creditors' proofs of claim until
November 1, 2004. Verifications are done to ascertain the nature
and amount of the Company's debts. The receiver will also
prepare the individual and general reports on the case.

The informative assembly, one of the last parts of the
reorganization process, will be held on August 10, 2005

Clerk No. 5, Dra. Villaroel, assists the court on the case.

CONTACT:  Concordia Video Cable S.A.
          Avenida Leandro N. Alem 822
          Piso 6

          Estudio Susana L. Prisant y Asociados, TRUSTEE
          Avenida Cordoba
          Piso 13 "92"

DEMYCO S.A.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
Argentine road construction firm Demyco S.A. entered bankruptcy
after Judge Bavastro of Court No. 17 approved a bankruptcy
motion filed by Citibank NA, reports La Nacion.

The Company's failure to pay USUS$3,139,950 in debt prompted the
bank to file the petition.

Working with Dr. Trevino, the city's Clerk No. 33, the court
assigned Ms. Maria Tynik as trustee for the bankruptcy process.
The trustee'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 claim to the
receiver before November 4, 2004.

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

CONTACT:  Demyco S.A.
          Avenida Cordoba 315
          Planta Baja

          Ms. Maria Tynik, TRUSTEE
          Avenida Rivadavia 10.444
          Piso 8 "A"

DINAR: Court Ratifies Bankruptcy Ruling
A Salta-based court has ratified a first instance ruling
ordering the bankruptcy of Argentine airline Dinar Lineas Aereas

In the good times, the carrier reached a 15% share in the
domestic market and it still has some important assets,
including three planes and domestic and international routes.

Nevertheless, its debts amount to US$50 million, which will be
hard to pay with Dinar's assets. Some of the assets have been
slowly deteriorating during the company's one and a half year
out of operation.

CONTACT:  Dinar Lineas Aereas S.A.
          Mitre 101

          Estudio Gauffin Fassini y Asociados, Trustee
          General Guemes 1587

DUSTON SACI: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
Judge Carrega of Court No. 4 declared Argentine plastics company
Duston SACI y F "Quiebra", reports La Nacion.

The court approved the bankruptcy petition filed by Union de
Obreros y Empleados Plasticos to whom the Company failed to pay
debts amounting to US$3,437.24.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Pablo
Aguilar as trustee. Creditors are required to present their
proofs of claim to Mr. Aguilar for verification before November
17, 2004.

Creditors who fail to have their claims authenticated by 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.

Clerk No. 8, Dr. Anta, assists the court on the case.

          Pedro Varela 3676

          Mr. Pablo Aguilar, TRUSTEE
          Hipolito Yrigoyen 1516
          Piso 3 "L"

MASTELLONE HERMANOS: Huff Blocks Accord On Debt Restructuring
A committee of bondholders headed by New Jersey distress fund
W.R. Huff Asset Management is opposing the US$330-million debt
restructuring offer of Argentine dairy company Mastellone
Hermanos while it requests an improvement in the proposal.

Huff holds around 17% of Mastellone's debt and heads a group of
creditors that gather 34% of the debt. Such percentage is enough
to prevent Mastellone from reaching the necessary backing rates
to submit an out-of-court settlement (APE) for court approval
and make it binding to all creditors.

So the committee of creditors has managed to block the accord
and ask for an improvement in the terms of the offer.

Mastellone's proposal has two alternatives, the first of which
is a US$600 million cash payment for each US$1,000 of face
value. The second alternative offers two different notes in
exchange for old ones: one with maturity in 2014 that will be
fully amortized at the end of the term and one with maturity in

This offer has gained acceptance from the majority of the banks,
which hold US$104 million of the debt. On the other hand,
bondholders are more reluctant to accept the offer. Holders of
barely 12% of the total have agreed to the offer so far.

CONTACT:  Mr. Pascual Mastellone, President
          Av. Leandro N. Alem 720
          (1001) - Buenos Aires
          Phone: 54 1 318-5000
          Fax: 54 1 313-6822

PRODECOM S.A.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
Diego Cruz Estevarena successfully sought for the bankruptcy of
Prodecom S.A. after Judge Gutierrez Cabello of Court No. 7
declared the Company "Quiebra," reports La Nacion.

As such, Prodecom will now start the bankruptcy process with Mr.
Jorge Alvarez as trustee. Creditors of the Company must submit
their proofs of claim to the trustee before November 8, 2004 for
authentication. Failure to do so will mean a disqualification
from the payments that will be made after the Company's assets
are liquidated.

Dra. O'Reilly, Clerk No. 13, assists the court on the case,
which will culminate in the liquidation of all of its assets.

CONTACT: Prodecom SA
         Metan 3773/75

         Mr. Jorge Alvarez, TRUSTEE
         Bartolome Mitre 1738
         Piso 6 "D"

ROYAL SHELL: Argentine Unit Eyed By PDVSA
A director of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has confirmed that
the Venezuelan state oil firm is keen on acquiring the Argentine
unit of Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell, reports BNamericas,
citing Venezuelan newspaper reports.

According to the reports, PDVSA director Victor Alvarez made the
comments in Buenos Aires during a preparatory meeting for the
second bi-national business meeting to be held in that city in
March 2005.

"Venezuela is interested in exporting some of its crude to
Argentina, in producing lubricants and fuel, and in acquiring
Argentine products to meet the demand of PDVSA and other
industries," Mr. Alvarez said.

Buying Shell's Argentine unit, which could be carried out
through a joint venture with Argentina's proposed state oil
company Enarsa, is one of a number of options PDVSA is
considering to process Venezuelan crude in Argentina.

* ARGENTINA: Lavagna Junks Creditor Request For Talks
In a move that could trigger a wave of lawsuits from
bondholders, Argentine Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna has
dismissed a request by the Global Committee of Argentina
Bondholders for negotiations on the restructuring of about
US$100 billion in bonds, Bloomberg reports.

According to the minister, the bondholders have "waited too long
for a conciliatory message", and that negotiations are over.

Hans Humes, co-chairman of the Global Committee of Argentina
Bondholders, which represents about one-third of creditors, said
bondholders holding as much as US$40 billion of defaulted debt
could go to court with Mr. Lavagna's refusal to negotiate.

"If we sit down, we can probably work out something,'' said Mr.
Humes, who manages US$750 million of emerging market debt,
including Argentine bonds, at Greylock Capital Management.

Argentina offered in June to pay creditors 25 cents per each
dollar of defaulted debt, as measured by the discounted present
value of the bonds' payments. The country said last week that it
will present its proposal to investors before yearend after it
secures regulatory approval from the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Argentina committed to engage in "good faith" talks with
creditors as part of a US$13.3-billion loan agreement with the
International Monetary Fund signed in 2003.


FOSTER WHEELER: Renews Global Alliance Agreement With Intergraph
The Process, Power & Marine division of Intergraph Corporation
(NASDAQ:INGR) announced Monday that Foster Wheeler Inc. has
renewed its Global Alliance Agreement for another three-year
term. The agreement provides for unlimited use of software
licenses for SmartPlant(R) P&ID, SmartPlant Review, SmartPlant
Electrical, SmartPlant Explorer, SmartSketch(R), INtools(R),
PDS(R) (Plant Design System) and Pelican Forge SupportModeler.
Foster Wheeler engineering centers in the Americas, Europe, and
Asia Pacific are covered under the agreement. The Global
Alliance Agreement provides flexible software use and a
worldwide software standard to reduce administrative and project
costs while improving competitive advantage.

Key to Project Completion

Keith Lucas, manager of applications IT, Foster Wheeler Energy
Limited, a U.K. affiliate of Foster Wheeler Inc. said,
"Intergraph software is key to timely and efficient completion
of Foster Wheeler's projects worldwide. Because the Intergraph
portfolio supports a sizeable part of our business processes,
Foster Wheeler elected to renew the Global Alliance Agreement
for another three years."

Kevin Stanley, senior vice president, Americas & Asia Pacific
business unit, Intergraph Process, Power & Marine, said, "Foster
Wheeler is one of the world's most prestigious engineering and
construction firms and has long been an important Intergraph
client. The renewed agreement demonstrates Foster Wheeler's
continuing commitment to Intergraph engineering enterprise
integration technologies."

Intergraph announced the Foster Wheeler transaction at the APEX
Summit international conference which continues through
Wednesday at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center.

About Foster Wheeler

Foster Wheeler (OTC:FWLRF) is a global company offering, through
its subsidiaries, a broad range of design, engineering,
construction, manufacturing, project development and management,
research and plant operation services. Foster Wheeler serves the
refining, upstream oil and gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids,
petrochemicals, chemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology
and healthcare industries. The corporation is based in Hamilton,
Bermuda, and its operational headquarters are in Clinton, New
Jersey, USA.

Process, Power & Marine: Integrating the Engineering Enterprise

Process, Power & Marine ( is a provider of
intelligent software and services enabling companies to
integrate engineering information to promote profitability,
improve operational excellence and safety and manage assets. The
company helps clients bring together the people, work processes
and advanced technology to create the global engineering
enterprise. Built on a quarter century of experience, Process,
Power & Marine supplies innovative lifecycle solutions for
concurrent engineering design, construction and operation.
Serving the process manufacturing, power generation, marine oil
and gas and commercial shipbuilding markets, Process, Power &
Marine is a division of Intergraph Corporation and is
headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

GLOBAL CROSSING: Seeks Additional NASDAQ Extension
Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) announced Monday that it is
requesting an additional extension until September 24, 2004 from
the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel for returning to
compliance with NASDAQ listing requirements. Global Crossing's
common stock will continue to trade on the NASDAQ National
Market while the Panel considers Global Crossing's request. The
company will provide prompt public disclosure after the Panel
issues its decision.

Global Crossing has consulted with its independent auditors and
outside accounting experts regarding the proper accounting
treatment of the previously disclosed adjustment to the
company's 2003 cost of access expenses. The company has also
sought guidance from the staff of the Securities and Exchange

After careful analysis and deliberation, the company has
concluded that the appropriate accounting treatment of this
adjustment is as a correction of an error. Accordingly, the
company will file a restatement of its previously filed
financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2003. Grant
Thornton is considering the reissuance of its audit reports on
the company's 2001 and 2002 financial statements and the
company's restated 2003 financial statements. If Grant Thornton
determines that it is not in a position to issue such audit
reports, the company will file unaudited financial statements
for such years in an amendment to its previously filed annual
report on Form 10-K for 2003. In these circumstances, the
company would request a further extension from the NASDAQ
Listing Qualifications Panel while the company would seek to
engage another independent auditor to audit these financial

The company has determined that the amount of the adjustment to
its 2003 cost of access expenses is $67 million. The company's
July 30, 2004 announcement of an approximately $54 million
adjustment, net of vendor dispute settlements, reflected the
netting of dispute settlement gains, then estimated at $13
million, against this $67 million adjustment. These vendor
settlement gains will be recorded in 2004, in accordance with
the company's historical accounting policy to recognize
settlement gains in the period in which settlement is reached.
There will also be a separate adjustment for an approximately
$12 million balance sheet reclassification related to certain
pre-petition settlements with access providers that were
incorrectly applied to post-petition cost of access liability
accounts and due to certain cost of access liability amounts
that were incorrectly eliminated in fresh start accounting. No
adjustments are required to the cost of access liabilities or
expenses at or prior to December 31, 2002.

The company will restate its previously issued consolidated
financial statements as of December 31, 2003 and for the periods
January 1, 2003 to December 9, 2003 and December 10, 2003 to
December 31, 2003 and as of and for the three months ended March
31, 2003, June 30, 2003 and September 30, 2003. The restatement
will result in (i) an increase in the cost of access liabilities
of approximately $79 million from $150 million to $229 million
as of December 31, 2003; (ii) an increase in cost of access
expense of approximately $2 million for the period December 10,
2003 to December 31, 2003, resulting in an increase in the
operating loss for this period from $8 million to $10 million
and an increase in the net loss from $9 million to $11 million
for this period; and (iii) an increase in cost of access expense
of approximately $65 million for the period January 1, 2003 to
December 9, 2003, resulting in an increase in the operating loss
for this period from $133 million to $198 million and an
increase in the net loss excluding gains on emergence from
bankruptcy from $230 million to $295 million. As indicated
above, included in the $79 million adjustment to the cost of
access liabilities at December 31, 2003 is an adjustment for an
approximately $12 million balance sheet reclassification.

Cost of access includes usage-based charges paid to other
carriers to originate and terminate voice services, leased line
charges for dedicated facilities and local loop charges, and
usage-based Internet peering charges.


Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) 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

          Tisha Kresler
          + 1 917-270-0079

          Catherine Berthier
          +1 646-862-8514

          Fernanda Marques
          + 55 21-3820-4712

          Kirstie Phimister
          + 44 (0) 1256-734063

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


CELG: Plans Share Offer, New Market Listing
In a statement on Friday, Brazilian state energy firm Companhia
Energetica de Goias (Celg) unveiled its plans for a secondary
stock offering and list on a division of Brazil's stock market
that demands greater transparency and shareholder rights called
the New Market, reveals Reuters.

Celg's move would involve the removal of the few preferred
shares from circulation and listing at least 25 percent of its
voting stock (CGOS3.SA) on the market.  According to Celg
finance director Javahe de Lima, the planned operation aims to
partially cover the BRL675-million (US$233 million) debt owed by
the government of the central state of Goias to the company.

"The government is going to liquidate the debt with the sale of
shares," he said.

Celg, however, assured that control of the firm would still be
in the hands of the Goias government after the share sale,
studies on which are being finalized.

The official said that the firm intends to decide on the move in
an extraordinary shareholder meeting, which he hopes would be
held at some stage in the next two weeks. The firm also expects
to carry out the share offer before the year ends.

So far, there are three companies listed in the Sao Paulo Stock
Exchange's (Bovespa) New Market, namely: cosmetics firm Natura
Cosmeticos , waterworks Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado
do Sao Paulo (Sabesp) (SBSP3.SA), and toll road operator
Companhia de Concessoes Rodoviarias (CCR) (CCRO3.SA).

Celg, which reported a BRL308-million profit last year, has
about 1.8 million clients, supplies energy to some 97 percent of
the population of the state of Goias, and employs 3,900 people.

Electric power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana (ELPL4.BR)
may find itself at the receiving end of up to BRL770 million
($1=BRL2.905) from Brazilian state-run development bank BNDES as
part of a compensation package for electric power distributors,
says Dow Jones.

In a conference call, Eletropaulo Chief Financial Officer Andrea
Ruschmann said that BNDES would buy debentures convertible into
Eletropaulo shares equivalent to 50% of the firm's short-term
debts - calculated as that which expires within 12 months - at
lower interest rates and for periods of between six and 10

Eletropaulo has short-term debts of about BRL1.1 billion,
equivalent to 19% of total debts of BRL5.6 billion reported at
the end of the second quarter, Ms. Ruschmann said.

The cheap credit BNDES is offering to power distributors is
compensation for a government-imposed power rationing in 2001
and 2002 that lasted nine months.

According to Ms. Ruschmann, the final amount of the loan, which
would be used entirely to prepay existing debts, extending terms
and reducing costs, will vary according to the bank's evaluation
of financial documents deposited one month ago. She also said
she expects BNDES to respond before the end of the year.

Eletropaulo also said the company's overall debt load would not
increase with the BNDES loan.

One of the requirements for companies to be included in the
bailout program is to list Level 2 shares in Sao Paulo's Bovespa
stock exchange within two years after obtaining the loan.

Level 2 requires more stringent commitments to corporate
governance and additional rights for nonvoting shareholders,
such as some tag-along rights.

Eletropaulo, however, preempted this requirement by filing
documents with securities regulator CVM on Monday, a move which
paved the way for adherence to Level 2.

          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations

ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: To Upgrade Shares To Bovespa Level 2
In a move aimed at improving its access to financial markets,
Brazilian power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana is
planning to upgrade its shares to level 2 of the Sao Paulo stock
exchange (Bovespa) by the end of the year, BNamericas reports,
citing Eletropaulo chief financial officer Andrea Ruschmann.

"The decision to list Eletropaulo's shares as level 2 is aligned
with the management's decision to increase transparency and move
closer to the financial markets," Ms. Ruschmann said.

Being "closer to financial markets" means the company can obtain
new loans to lengthen its BRL5.6-billion (US$1.9bn) debt. The
greater transparency required for level 2 shares increases the
likelihood of raising financing and of obtaining a bailout loan
from Brazil's development bank BNDES, Ms. Ruschmann said.

According to the executive, the shares upgrade has already been
approved by US power firm AES (NYSE: AES), Eletropaulo's parent
company, and BNDES, but has yet to meet the approval of power
regulator Aneel.

Eletropaulo, along with two other power firms, has filed to
obtain part of a BRL3-billion bailout loan package offered by

Ms. Ruschmann said Eletropaulo is also planning to meet with
investors in "non-deal" road shows as part of the company's
drive to improve access to financial markets.

LIGHT SERVICOS: Plans Launch of PLC Internet Service
Light Servicos network and telecom manager Paulo Magalhaes
revealed to BNamericas on Monday the Brazilian power firm's
plans of launching internet service using power line
communications (PLC) technology over its electricity grid.

According to Mr. Magalhaes, "There is research that estimates
unmet demand at 1.5 million lines in greater Rio de Janeiro. We
cannot give details on our goals but obviously we will try to
maximize our numbers".

The company aims to launch PLC early next year, but the timing
all depends on when the new service's business and sales
structure is defined, he added.

Light plans to initially offer its internet service in the city
of Rio de Janeiro and will then expand to other municipalities
based on demand, according to Mr. Magalhaes.

The company still has to seek the approval of telecom regulator
Anatel, which must verify that the company's equipment are up to
standards, before it can launch its internet service. Light
would then have to request the regulator for an SCM broadband &
video license and an STFC phone line license, Mr. Magalhaes

Since Light is not authorized to provide telecom services, the
power distributor is required by existing regulations to create
a company that offers internet services, which would signal a
formal entry into the telecom sector. To do so, Light will need
investment partners along with technology partners to supply
equipment and operate the network.

Mr. Magalhaes also gave the assurance that its planned launch of
broadband service will not impact its debt rescheduling talks
with private banks.

To provide broadband service, Light will install a small piece
of equipment known as "modem PLC" to any electrical outlet
connected to the computer via another cable. "Master" equipment
is installed in the building's external electrical network, next
to the energy transformer, to communicate with all of the "PLC
modems" by sending signals via the existing electrical network.
The master equipment is also connected to the internet circuit.

Mr. Magalhaes said the company also aims to serve remote areas
by eventually using satellite transmission.

Light, which currently has 3.6 million electricity clients, is a
unit of Electricite de France (EDF) and operates in 31
municipalities in Rio de Janeiro state, including the capital

          Avenida Marechal Floriano, 168
          20080-002 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
          Phone: +55-21-2211-2794
          Fax:   +55-21-2211-2993
          Home Page:
          Bo Gosta Kallstrand, Chairman
          Michel Gaillard, President and CEO
          Joel Nicolas, Executive Director, Operation
          Paulo Roberto Ribeiro Pinto, Executive Director,
                                 Investor Relations and CFO


EDT: Startup Telco Completes Payoff
The Colombian government announced in a statement that startup
telco Barranquilla Telecomunicaciones has completed a COP42-
billion (US$16.63 million) advance payment for a 15-month lease
of bankrupt municipal telco EDT's network infrastructure,
relates BNamericas.

The payment made by Barranquilla Telecomunicaciones, now
responsible for service to EDT's former clients, includes nearly
COP35 billion the government secured in loans from local banks
Megabanco, Granahorrar and Colpatria, which are backed by a
guarantee from national development institution Findeter.

The payment also allows EDT to pay severance packages for 80% of
its workforce. So far, EDT has already terminated a number of
work contracts and paid 424 severances. However, Evamaria Uribe,
head of public services regulator Superservicios, said a
decision has yet to be reached on the case of 90 workers who, as
union leaders, were exempt from downsizing.

In order to resolve EDT's woes, the government is planning to
sell EDT's assets and an ownership stake in Barranquilla
Telecomunicaciones, which is nominally owned by five state

PAZ DEL RIO: Board To Assess Italian Firms' Proposal Thursday
The board of Colombian iron and steel company Acerias Paz del
Rio is set to meet on Thursday with representatives of Italian
firms interested in carrying out the company's US$35-million
industrial rationalization plan, reveals BNamericas.

The Italian companies are slated to unveil during the meeting
their latest proposals for the plan, which includes the
installation of a continuous casting machine, a ladle furnace
and a hot roller.

Paz del Rio chief executive officer Alberto Hadad said that
technical, economic, financial and legal evaluations will be
reviewed through a process approved by the board to decide what
is best for the company.

"It is the first time in company history that we are not buying
just for [the sake of] buying, but rather buying the best
[equipment], with very technical criteria". Therefore, prudence
and care must be exercised in making this decision, he said.

According to a Paz del Rio shareholder, Italian firm Danieli,
which teamed up with German company Ferrostaal to offer a
turnkey project, is touted to win the contract for the plan.

The industrial rationalization is designed to allow the company
to reduce production costs by US$32/t and increase steel
production capacity from the current 260,000t/y to 500,000t/y in
10 years.

The company's sales are expected to exceed US$157 million this
year, while profits by the end of September is projected to
reach US$31.5 million.

* S&P Assigns 'BB' Rating to Colombia's $500M Bond
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB' rating to
the Republic of Colombia's planned US$500 million bond due 2014.
Standard & Poor's also said that it affirmed its 'BB' long-term
and 'B' short-term foreign, and its 'BBB' long-term and 'A-3'
short-term local, currency sovereign credit ratings on Colombia.
The outlook on the ratings remains stable.

According to Standard & Poor's Credit Analyst Richard Francis,
the ratings reflect the prospects of higher economic growth and
continued prudent fiscal policy that should help the government
come close to meeting its 2.5% and 2.4% overall public sector
deficit targets for 2004 and 2005, respectively. Additional
financing from privatization revenue in both years would allow
for slightly higher deficits of 2.8% and 2.9%, respectively.

"The country's economic growth prospects are also improving and
projected to rise by over 4% in both 2004 and 2005," said Mr.
Francis. "The higher growth reflects a sharp increase in
investment and domestic confidence due to President Alvaro
Uribe's successful strategy of improving national security while
maintaining macroeconomic stability. The bilateral free-trade
agreement with the U.S. now being negotiated could also underpin
growth prospects in the medium term by increasing foreign direct
investment and boosting nontraditional exports," he added.

Mr. Francis explained that the government's underlying fiscal
position remains highly inflexible due to large, legally
mandated transfers to local governments and public pension
systems and to the interest on the government's debt.

"Further reform in the areas of taxes, transfers, and pensions
will therefore be needed over the next three years in order to
maintain fiscal discipline," noted Mr. Francis. "If there is
significant fiscal slippage or a sharp deterioration in the
nation's security, there could be renewed downward pressure on
the government's creditworthiness. If, on the other hand, fiscal
prospects improve further and the debt and interest burdens
decline, the ratings could improve," he concluded.

ANALYST:  Richard Francis, New York (1)-212-438-7348


GRUPO IUSACELL: Signs Network Deal With Ectel
ECtel Ltd. (Nasdaq: ECTX), a leading provider of Fraud
Prevention and Revenue Assurance solutions, announced Monday
that it has received an order from Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V.
(NYSE: CEL; BMV: CEL) (Iusacell), a Mexican wireless cellular
(CDMA) and PCS service provider, for an integrated, network-wide
Fraud Prevention and Revenue Assurance solution.

Iusacell is a member of the Grupo Salinas industrial group and
serves more than 1.3 million subscribers in seven of Mexico's
nine regions. ECtel's solution for Iusacell includes a real-time
I-Probe(TM) platform together with its industry-leading
FraudView(TM) and CashView(TM) application suites for rooting
out and shutting down various sources of revenue leakage.

"ECtel's 'One-Platform Multiple-Application' takes a
comprehensive cost- effective approach, addressing both external
and internal sources of revenue leakage," said Ing. Eduardo Kuri
Romo, Iusacell's Director of System Engineering. "We expect the
system to enhance both our top and bottom-line performance,
resulting in a rapid ROI and a significant improvement of our
long-term profitability."

The ECtel solution consists of both hardware and software
components. ECtel's proprietary I-Probe(TM) platform will be
deployed in Iusacell's Interconnect Network to gather and groom
unbiased call data and feed real-time data to ECtel monitoring
and analysis applications. Utilizing advanced algorithms and
Rules-Based filtering, ECtel's FraudView(TM) will sift call data
continuously to identify fraud-in-the-making and facilitate
operator intervention. ECtel's CashView(TM) uses state-of-the-
art datamining techniques to correlate actual call data with
provisioning, billing chain, CRM and other records, highlighting
the faulty back-office processes, definitions and configurations
that lead to billing discrepancies. The system's user-friendly
"dashboards," alerts and reports are designed to assist
personnel throughout the company take the necessary actions to
stop fraud and correct revenue leakage.

"We are pleased that another major Latin American operator has
chosen ECtel to be its partner in the fight against fraud and
revenue leakage," said Mr. Eitan Naor, President and CEO of
ECtel. "We look forward to a successful deployment of our
integrated Fraud Prevention and Revenue Assurance solution. We
are confident that our proven network-wide approach will deliver
comprehensive protection and significant value."

About Iusacell

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

About ECtel Ltd.

ECtel is a leading global provider of cutting-edge Fraud
Prevention and Revenue Assurance solutions for converged
telecommunications networks. Based on proprietary state-of-the-
art hardware and software technologies, ECtel's cost-effective
systems are used by premier telecommunications operators
throughout the world. ECtel Ltd. is traded on Nasdaq under the
symbol ECTX.


     ECtel Ltd.
     Avi Goldstein
     Senior Vice President and CFO
     Tel:  +1-301-354-1113
     Fax: +1-301-428-0505

     ECtel Ltd.
     Chris Denis
     Investor Relations Coordinator
     Tel:  954-351-4492
     Fax: 954-351-4430

HECLA MINING: Moody's Ups Sr. Implied Rating to Caa1
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the senior implied rating of
Hecla Mining Company (Hecla) to Caa1 from Caa2 with a stable

The upgrade reflects Hecla's improved cash flow generation,
increased liquidity, and relatively stronger balance sheet.

The ratings also reflect the short indicated life of its gold
operations, based on current proven and probable reserves, and
political risk related to the Venezuelan gold operations. Hecla
also faces great uncertainty regarding environmental liabilities
and potentially sizable costs for remediation and environmental

But according to Moody's, Hecla, over the past two years, has
benefited significantly from higher prices for silver and gold
as well as increased ore production at some of its mines. In
addition, the improved market conditions have allowed Hecla to
strengthen its liquidity and balance sheet.

At the company's silver operations of San Sebastian in Mexico
and Greens Creek in Alaska, where gold is treated as a by-
product and reduces the overall cost (cash cost) of producing
silver, a combination of higher realized gold prices and
increased production significantly lowered cash costs in 2002
and 2003.

Headquartered in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, Hecla Mining Company, is
a precious metals company with mining operations in the United
States, Mexico, and Venezuela.

HYLSAMEX: Analysts Say Alfa To Expedite Sale
With international steel prices expected to drop next year,
analysts are predicting that Mexican conglomerate Alfa will be
encouraged to speed up the partial or total sale of Hylsamex,
its steel making division, after March next year when the
disincorporation process of the latter is completed, relates El

According to Merrill Lynch Vice President of Research Carlos
Perylongue, "Steel prices will begin to come down next year by
around 15%, and I believe that they must be thinking about this
possibility [the sale of Hylsamex], although they would only be
selling the business of long, specialized steels, which is a
small part".

Alfa has already distributed among its shareholders 39.37% of
its 89.97% stock in Hylsamex, with the remaining 51% to be
disincorporated in March 2005.

Hylsamex's debt, say experts, will be reduced to zero during the
next 18 months due the boom in international steel prices.

          Munich 101
          San Nicolas de los Garza
          Nuevo Leon
          Phone: 52-8-328-2828

TV AZTECA: Defines Road Map for Digital Transmissions
TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: TZA - News; BMV: TVAZTCA), one of
the two largest producers of Spanish- language television
programming in the world, presented Monday its strategy to
gradually upgrade its analogue broadcasting stations throughout
Mexico into digital transmission sites.

TV Azteca committed before the Mexican Communications and
Transport Ministry (SCT) to adopt technological standards for
over-the-air digital television under its licenses, recently
renewed. Pursuant to its commitment the company will upgrade the
555 over-the-air transmitters of its networks' signal throughout
Mexico, on a progressive basis, to allow for digital
retransmission into the television households reached by TV
Azteca. The company currently beams digital broadcast signal via
satellite to its distribution sites in Mexico, and the new
strategy will enable TV Azteca to bring the digital signal into
its viewers' homes.

The project, approved by the SCT, entails completing digital
transmission nationwide by 2021. The schedule for the plan
starts with nine of the most important Mexican markets,
including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and some major
border urban areas, which altogether represent 33 million
people. The first cities are expected to be upgraded by 2009.

The company noted that its decision to pioneer digital
transmission in Mexico reflects TV Azteca's interest in
replicating domestically a worldwide trend of improving viewing
quality through higher signal definition standards. The company
expects that, given its gradual nature, the digital plan does
not have any material impact on TV Azteca's annual capex for any
given year going forward.

TV Azteca is one of the two largest producers of Spanish-
language television programming in the world, operating two
national television networks in Mexico, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7,
through more than 300 owned and operated stations across the
country. TV Azteca affiliates include Azteca America Network, a
new broadcast television network focused on the rapidly growing
US Hispanic market, and, an Internet portal for North
American Spanish speakers.


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

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