TCRLA_Public/041020.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, October 20, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 208

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

CABLEVISION: S&P Leaves Junk Ratings Unchanged
CASAMEN S.A.: Court Approves Concurso Motion
CAMPOS DORADOS: Court Approves Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
C.M.S. S.R.L.: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
COMPANIA AUSTRAL: Court Moves Claims Check Cut-Off

CREACIONES ALMALI: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
CURTIDURIA ALSINA S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
FENNIGGER S.A.: Court Opens Liquidation
KAIXO S.A.: Reports Submission Set
MULTICANAL: HBO Files Criminal Complaint

SCP: Default Level on Corporate Bonds Unchanged
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Director Leaves Post
TRANSENER: To Operate Transmission Line in Brazil
* ARGENTINA: S&P Raises Ratings on Debt, Loans


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Elects Stephanie Hanbury-Brown to its Board
GLOBAL CROSSING: Improves VoIP Services


B R A Z I L

CEMAR: May See Profits This Year
EMBRATEL: Records 3Q EBITDA of BRL241 Mln
GERDAU: Gerdau Ameristeel Prices Offering of its Common Shares


C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: Blacklists Companies From Contract Tenders
ICE: Suspends Garabito Contract to Probe Discrepancies


E C U A D O R

BELLSOUTH CORP.: Completes Sale of 3 LatAm Operations to TEM
PACIFICTEL: Plans to Slash Telecsa Participation


E L   S A L V A D O R

BANCO DE COMERCIO: Two Banks Fight for Control


M E X I C O

GRUPO MEXICO: Asks Labor Authorities to Nullify Strike
TV AZTECA: Mulls Peso Bond Sale


P E R U

NUEVO CONTINENTE: Seeks Government Help to Maintain Services


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Keeps Central Bank in the Dark About Oil Output

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

CABLEVISION: S&P Leaves Junk Ratings Unchanged
----------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
maintains an 'raD' rating on the following corporate bonds
issued by Cablevision S.A.:

- US$100 million worth of "Series and/or Class" bonds described
as "Serie XI por un monto de USD 100 millones dentro del
Programa de ON a med. plazo por un monto de USD 1.500 MM." The
maturity of these bonds was not disclosed.

- US$100 million worth of "Series and/or Class" bonds described
as "Serie 9 de ON por USD 100 MM bajo el Programa de USD 1500
MM." The maturity of these bonds was not disclosed.

- US$275 million worth of "Series and/or Class" bonds described
as "Serie 5 por U$S 275 MM bajo el Prog. de Ons. a Mediano Plazo
por U$S1500 MM." These bonds will mature on May 1, 2009.

- US$250 million worth of "Series and/or Class" bonds described
as "Serie 10 por U$S 250 MM bajo el Prog. de Ons. a Mediano
Plazo por U$S1500 MM." These bonds will mature on April 30,
2007.

The rating action is based on the Company's financial status as
of June 30, 2004.


CASAMEN S.A.: Court Approves Concurso Motion
--------------------------------------------
Judge Vassallo, working for court no. 5 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal, approved a petition for reorganization
filed by Casamen S.A. says Argentine daily La Nacion.

Accounting firm "Estudio Cantero, Sartori, Fernandez de Scala"
will verify claims until December 9. After verifying the claims,
the trustee will then submit the individual and general reports
to court. Dates for submission of these reports are yet to be
disclosed.

The informative assembly will be held on September 20 next year.
This is one of the last parts of the reorganization process.

Dr. Perex Casado, clerk no. 9, assists the court on the case.

CONTACT: Casamen S.A.
         Teniente General Juan Domingo Peron 1230
         Buenos Aires

         "Estudio Cantero, Sartori, Fern ndez de Scala"
         Trustee
         Avenida Corrientes 1393
         Buenos Aires


CAMPOS DORADOS: Court Approves Creditor's Bankruptcy Motion
-----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Gonzalez, working under court no. 8 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal, declared local company Campos Dorados
S.A. bankrupt, says La Nacion. The ruling comes in approval of
the bankruptcy petition filed by the Company's creditor, Banco
RĦo de la Plata S.A., for nonpayment of US$49,881.33 in debt.

The Company's trustee, Mr. Sergio Leon Novick, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until March 14 next year. 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.

Dr. Saravia, clerk no. 16, assists the court on the case that
will conclude with the liquidation of the Company's assets.

CONTACTS: Campos Dorados S.A.
          Libertad 434
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Sergio Leon Novick, Trustee
          Libertad 359
          Buenos Aires


C.M.S. S.R.L.: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Walter Arturo Calleja was assigned
trustee for the bankruptcy of local company C.M.S. S.R.L.,
relates Infobae. The trustee will verify creditors' claims until
November 11, the source adds.

The city's civil and commercial tribunal court no. 18 holds
jurisdiction over the Company's case. Clerk no. 36 assists the
court with the proceedings.

CONTACTS: C.M.S. S.R.L.
          Maipu 474
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Walter Arturo Calleja, Trustee
          Lambare 1140
          Buenos Aires


COMPANIA AUSTRAL: Court Moves Claims Check Cut-Off
--------------------------------------------------
Court no. 7 of Bahia Blanca's civil and commercial tribunal
moved the claims verification deadline for the Compania Austral
de Mantenimiento S.A. bankruptcy case to October 29, reports
Infobae.

Creditors with outstanding claims against the Company are
required to submit proof of the indebtedness to trustee Hector
Alberto Cueto before the deadline. Failure to submit required
documents within the verification period will mean
disqualification from the post-liquidation distribution that
will be made.

CONTACT: Mr. Hector Alberto Cueto, Trustee
         Alsina 84
         Bahia Blanca


CREACIONES ALMALI: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
--------------------------------------------------
Judge Ballerini of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
court no. 24 declared local company Creaciones Almali S.A.
"Quiebra", relates La Nacion. The order comes in approval of the
bankruptcy petition filed by Union de Obreros y Empleados
Plasticos.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Enrique
Battellini as its trustee. Creditors are required to present
their proofs of claims to the trustee for verification before
December 1. 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.

Dr. Medina, clerk no. 47,  assists the court with the
liquidation proceedings.

CONTACTS: Creaciones Almali S.A.
          Uriburu 433
          Buenos Aires

          Mr. Enrique Battellini, Trustee
          Parana 774
          Buenos Aires


CURTIDURIA ALSINA S.A.: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
---------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires-based Curtiduria Alsina S.A. entered bankruptcy
after court no. 18 of the city's civil and commercial tribunal
approved a bankruptcy motion filed by Mr. Sergio Gomez., reports
La Nacion.

Working with Dr. Estevarena, clerk no. 35, the court assigned
Mr. Luis Maria Guastavino 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 claims to the
trustee before December 13.

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: Curtiduria Alsina S.A.
         Avenida Pedro Goyena 1104
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Luis Maria Guastavino, Trustee
         Nicolas Repetto 1115
         Buenos Aires


FENNIGGER S.A.: Court Opens Liquidation
---------------------------------------
Fennigger S.A. prepares to wind-up its operations following the
bankruptcy pronouncement issued by court no. 14 of Buenos Aires'
civil and commercial tribunal. The declaration effectively
prohibits the Company from administering its assets, control of
which will be transferred to a court-appointed trustee.

Infobae reports that the court appointed Ms. Susana Haydee
Mugnai as trustee. She will be reviewing creditors' proofs of
claims until December 2. The verified claims will be the basis
for the individual reports to be presented for court approval on
February 15, 2005. Afterwards, the trustee will also submit a
general report on April 5, 2005.

Clerk No. 28 assists the court on this case that will end with
the disposal of the company's assets to cover its liabilities.

CONTACT: Ms. Susana Haydee Mugnai, Trustee
         Lavalle 1459
         Buenos Aires


KAIXO S.A.: Reports Submission Set
----------------------------------
Mr. Carlos Leon Desseno, the trustee assigned to supervise the
liquidation of Kaixo S.A., will submit the validated individual
claims for court approval on February 25, 2005. These reports
explain the basis for the accepted and rejected claims. He will
also submit a general report on April 8, 2005.

Infobae reports that court no. 20 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal has jurisdiction over this bankruptcy case.
Clerk no. 39 assists the court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Mr. Carlos Leon Desseno, Trustee
         Presidente Peron 1558
         Buenos Aires


MULTICANAL: HBO Files Criminal Complaint
----------------------------------------
The conflict between HBO Latin America Group and Argentine cable
operator Multicanal SA escalated Monday when the former
announced that it has filed a criminal complaint against
Multicanal for alleged signal theft for 10 channels.

In an ad published in local newspapers, the U.S. company claimed
Multicanal "is violating express standards" of national and
international law by continuing to broadcast HBO Latin America
channels despite the expiration of its license on Aug. 31.

HBO also rejected Multicanal's position that it had unreasonably
hiked rates.

"We roundly deny all Multicanal's accusations toward HBO Latin
America Group, which are aimed at distracting public opinion
from the true crime that would be committed," the ad said.

The dispute between the companies began on Oct. 10 when the U.S.
firm stopped sending its signal to Multicanal, which then
allegedly resorted to pirating the HBO feed from other local
operators.

On Thursday, Argentine antitrust regulators ordered HBO Latin
America to resume broadcasting its programs on Multicanal, as
the latter had requested.

HBO, which is part of Time Warner Inc. (TWX), can still appeal
the government ruling.


SCP: Default Level on Corporate Bonds Unchanged
-----------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, Ltd. Sucursal Argentina
maintains an `raD' rating on various corporate bonds issued by
Sociedad Comercial del Plata S.A., according to the Comision
Nacional de Valores, CNV. The action, which was taken based on
the Company's financial status as of June 30, 2004, applies to
the following bonds:

- US$25 million of "Serie 8, emitida bajo el Progr. Global de
Obligaciones Negociables por un monto de US$400 Millones," under
Series and/or Class. The bonds matured on August 12, 2002.

- US$40 million of "Serie 7, emitida bajo el Progr. Global de
Obligaciones Negociables por un monto de US$400 Millones," under
Series and/or Class. The maturity of the bonds was not
disclosed.

- US$125 million of "Serie 6, emitida bajo Progr. Global de
Obligaciones Negociables por un monto de US$400 Millones," under
Series and/or Class. The maturity of the bonds was not
disclosed.

- FRF60 million of "Serie 4, emitida bajo Progr. Global de
Obligaciones Negociables por U$S 400 Millones," under Series
and/or Class. The bonds matured on December 21, 2002.

- US$400 million of "obligaciones negociables" under Program.
The maturity of the bonds was not disclosed.

According to S&P, an obligation is rated `raD' when it is in
payment default, or the obligor has filed for bankruptcy. The
rating is used when interest or principal payment are not made
on the date due even if the applicable grace period has not
expired, unless the ratings agency believes that such payments
will be made during such grace period.


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Director Leaves Post
---------------------------------------------
Mr. Miguel Angel Gutierrez has resigned from his post as
director of fixed-line carrier Telefonica de Argentina S.A. Mr.
Gutierrez said his resignation is based upon personal reasons
and upon his need to take direct care of international
activities as well. The Company's Board will consider his
resignation in the next meeting.


TRANSENER: To Operate Transmission Line in Brazil
-------------------------------------------------
Argentine electric transmission company Transener is set to earn
between US$2 million and US$2.5 million annually when it's
contract to operate a 500kv Brazilian transmission line begins
in 2007.

El Cronista says that while the term of the concession contract
is for 30 years, Transener's deal with Spanish company Elecnor
covers only the first five years of operations (2007 to 2011)
with the option to renew for another five years.

Proceeds from the contract will significantly augment the
Company's annual revenues from international operations, which
now stand at around US$5.5 million or 10 percent of the
Company's total revenues.

Elecnor has earmarked EUR237.5 million to build the line that
will stretch 811 kilometers from the states of Mato Grosso and
Minas Gerais.

Brazilian oil group Petrobras controls 32.5 percent of Transener
while investment company Dolphin Fund owns another 32.5 percent.
The Company has debts currently estimated at US$560 million.


* ARGENTINA: S&P Raises Ratings on Debt, Loans
----------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services raised its rating on the
Republic of Argentina's Argentine peso-denominated and U.S.
dollar denominated bonds, called Bonos del Gobierno Nacional
(BODENs), to 'CCC+' from 'CCC'. Standard & Poor's also raised
its long-term local currency rating on Argentina's peso-
denominated National Government Guaranteed Loans ("Prestamos
Garantizados") to 'CCC+' plus from 'CC'. Standard & Poor's also
affirmed its 'SD' long-term foreign and local currency sovereign
credit ratings on the republic.

The upgrade on the bonds reflects both the diminishing threat of
an involuntary restructuring of either class of debt in the
coming years and the government's track record of timely
payments on this debt even while it has remained in default on
other classes of debt for almost three years. Good economic
growth has boosted the government's revenue, with tax
collections likely to rise by more than 30% this year over that
in 2003.

A further increase in the ratings for both the BODENS and the
Prestamos Garantizados depends upon the terms of a debt
restructuring agreement between the sovereign and its creditors,
which will also determine Argentina's new issuer credit rating
(now 'SD'). The ratings on both classes of debt are likely to be
equalized with the ratings Standard & Poor's will assign to the
new sovereign debt issued in exchange for debt now in default.

The Prestamos Garantizados were originally sovereign bond debt
of approximately US$42 billion that was swapped into loans in
November 2001 and subsequently converted into Argentine peso
debt in 2002. In 2003, the government reconverted almost half of
the peso debt back into U.S. dollar-denominated bonds (which are
still in default) for those creditors who refused to accept the
original conversion into pesos. The remaining amount,
approximately Argentine peso (ArP) 42 billion, is largely held
by banks.

The sovereign issued BODENs after its late-2001 default. They
are designed to compensate depositors for their frozen deposits
in the banking system and to compensate banks for the early 2002
asymmetric conversion of their assets and liabilities from
dollars to pesos. Approximately ArP13.3 billion and US$13.7
billion in outstanding BODEN debt is affected.

Standard & Poor's assigned its 'SD' sovereign credit ratings to
Argentina in late 2001, when the government defaulted on over
US$80 billion in debt. The government subsequently entered into
a payment default on most of its external commercial debt.
Although the terms of a potential rescheduling of Argentina's
sovereign debt remain uncertain, the sovereign's ratings after a
rescheduling will continue to be constrained by:

--A high government debt burden, even assuming generous debt
forgiveness. The government's debt burden may reach 130% of GDP
at the end of 2004. Its future debt burden will depend largely
upon the level of debt forgiveness and on the government's
underlying fiscal stance.

--Limited fiscal and monetary flexibility. The improvement in
fiscal performance in 2004 reflects both cyclical and structural
features. Tax collections have improved due to high export
prices and to renewed economic growth that is boosting
employment. Maintaining the current level of tax revenue (as a
share of GDP) will prove to be difficult, placing greater
pressure on spending control in the coming years in order to
generate adequate primary budget surpluses to meet future debt
service obligations. Monetary flexibility will be constrained by
the legacy of the recent financial crisis, which led to the loss
of the central bank's autonomy and damaged the transmission
mechanism of monetary policy.

Argentina's ratings will continue to be supported by:

--A higher level of human development than in other similarly
rated sovereigns. Argentina enjoys better health and education
indicators, and better physical infrastructure, than its rated
peers and has greater technical and managerial depth. These
factors augur well for GDP growth prospects post-rescheduling,
but are balanced by the country's weak legal and regulatory
framework.

Primary Credit Analyst: John Chambers, CFA, New York
(1) 212-438-7344; john_chambers@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Carina Lopez, Buenos Aires
(54) 11-4891-2118; carina_lopez@standardandpoors.com



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

FOSTER WHEELER: Elects Stephanie Hanbury-Brown to its Board
-----------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWLRF) announced Monday that
Stephanie Hanbury-Brown has been elected to its board of
directors.

"We look forward to working with Stephanie and to benefiting
from her considerable skills and knowledge," said Raymond J.
Milchovich, chairman, president and CEO.

Ms. Hanbury-Brown recently founded Golden Seeds LLC, an
investment and advisory firm. She previously held positions of
increasing responsibility with J.P. Morgan. Those positions
included serving as J.P. Morgan's head of eCommerce, as the
Chief Operating Officer of its Global Equities division, as the
head of its International Private Client Group, and as the head
of its Futures and Options Group. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan,
Ms. Hanbury-Brown worked with Rouse Woodstock in London and
Sydney, and with Lane & Lane Solicitors in Sydney. She holds a
B.A. from the University of Sydney.

Foster Wheeler Ltd. 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, petrochemical, chemicals, power,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare industries. The
corporation is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and its operational
headquarters are in Clinton, New Jersey, USA.

CONTACT: Foster Wheeler Ltd.
         Media Contact:
         Ms. Maureen Bingert
         Phone: 908-730-4444
                or
         Other Inquiries:
         Phone: 908-730-4000
         Web Site: http://www.fwc.com/


GLOBAL CROSSING: Improves VoIP Services
---------------------------------------
- New inbound VoIP DID single IP connection eliminates multiple
private line connections and gateways associated with TDM ports.

- VoIP Toll Free Transport Service rounds out VoIP portfolio
providing inbound in addition to outbound solutions over a
converged IP connection.

- New global IP connectivity enhancements include IP transit,
public Internet and fully meshed IP VPN service.

- VoIP portfolio now supports compression and silence
suppression, plus new international routing options.

Advancing its leadership in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
services, Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) introduced a new
inbound service portfolio plus new global connectivity options,
offering carriers a comprehensive VoIP portfolio that delivers
on the promise of converging voice, video and data services over
a single IP connection.

The new inbound portfolio consists of Global Crossing VoIP DID -
- a new VoIP direct inward dial service -- and a new Global
Crossing VoIP Toll Free Transport service. VoIP DID provides
carriers with local origination for nationwide local numbers
through a single IP point of interconnection as a cost-effective
alternative to traditional toll-free applications. This service
eliminates traditional time division multiplexing (TDM), private
line and foreign exchange service fees by providing a single IP
connection alternative.

Global Crossing VoIP Toll Free Transport provides carriers with
interconnection, transport and termination of 800 packet-based
voice traffic for calls originating as TDM, thereby eliminating
the need for capital-intensive IP to TDM conversion gear. Global
Crossing VoIP DID service is generally available now in all
major U.S. markets while Global Crossing VoIP Toll Free
Transport is available throughout North America.

New enhancements to existing VoIP outbound service enable IP
transit, public Internet and fully meshed IP VPN connectivity,
which provides carriers with unlimited VoIP DID and VoIP Toll
Free connection options to maximize flexibility and control
expenses. Global Crossing VoIP Outbound service and the latest
enhancements are currently available worldwide with any public
Internet connection for termination of traffic to any phone.

"Carriers are demanding cost-effective, highly secure and
seamless migration solutions to VoIP, leading to a fully
converged IP network of voice, video and data over a single
connection," said Anthony Christie, Global Crossing's chief
marketing officer. "Our new VoIP inbound offers combined with
the enhancements to our VoIP outbound service provide an
integrated, well-rounded portfolio that enables our carrier
customers to design flexible and efficient service platforms to
meet the evolving demands of their end-users."

Broadband telephony providers can leverage Global Crossing's
VoIP services to enable IP-based local, long-distance and toll
free communications services to residential and business
customers. Carriers will also benefit greatly as they eliminate
dedicated physical connections and gateways to multiple markets,
and connect all markets over a single IP connection, which
increases their bandwidth efficiency.

Incoming DID and toll free calls originate as TDM calls and are
converted to IP when they reach the Global Crossing voice
network, and then are routed directly to the carriers' IP
network through a SIP-based IP interconnection. DID numbers can
be purchased directly from Global Crossing or can be ported from
third party providers to Global Crossing. The most significant
VoIP enhancement is providing multiple IP connectivity methods
to meet the diverse VoIP needs of key customer market segments,
from new entrants to established carriers, regardless of their
VoIP network architecture. The new enhancements also enable
Global Crossing to offer two distinct routing options for
international termination.

Additionally, carriers now have a choice for domestic and
international voice traffic termination through uncompressed
audio (G.711) for highest quality voice traffic, or compressed
audio (G.729a) that increases voice traffic capacity by 60
percent. In addition, Global Crossing is now able to support the
international standards for compression with silence suppression
(G.729ab). The greater circuit efficiency of G.729 enables
small- to mid-size resellers such as IXCs and other service
providers target non-compression sensitive applications.

"As the global VoIP market grows, demand for innovative products
will increasingly eclipse the simple need for low prices," said
Bryan Van Dussen, director of telecommunications strategies at
The Yankee Group. "Global Crossing's VoIP portfolio expansion,
including its VoIP DID, Toll Free Transport and new global
connectivity options, reflects its focus on the customer
requirement for effective and innovative VoIP solutions."

According to a recent Yankee Group report, VoIP will have close
to one million subscribers by year-end 2004 and will serve 17.5
million U.S. households by year-end 2008, compared to 131,000 at
year-end 2003. Global Crossing's Carrier VoIP Services will
enable broadband telephony providers to serve this expanding
market.

iLocus, another market research organization, also published a
recent report on the global VoIP market, citing Global Crossing
as the market share leader for the transport of VoIP traffic on
a national level in the U.S. and third for international VoIP.

Global Crossing VoIP DID is the latest addition to Global
Crossing's wholesale VoIP services portfolio, which launched in
September 2003 with the introduction of Global Crossing VoIP
OutboundO. Global Crossing was an early adopter of VoIP, having
deployed its global VoIP platform four years ago. It currently
transports up to 2.5 billion minutes per month over the VoIP
platform, representing approximately 40 percent of its total
voice traffic.

Global Crossing 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.

CONTACT: Press Contacts
         Mr. Tom Topalian
         Phone: + 1 973-937-0154
         e-mail: PR@globalcrossing.com

         Ms. Kendra Langlie
         Phone: + 1 305-808-5912
         e-mail: LatAmPR@globalcrossing.com

         Mr. Mish Desmidt
         Europe
         Phone: + 44 (0) 7771-668438
         e-mail: EuropePR@globalcrossing.com

        Analysts/Investors Contact
        Ms. Laurinda Pang
        Phone: +1 800-836-0342
        e-mail: glbc@globalcrossing.com

        Web Site: http://www.globalcrossing.com/



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

CEMAR: May See Profits This Year
--------------------------------
Brazil's Maranhao state power distributor Cemar is expected to
return to black this year following a debt restructuring and a
five-year, BRL300-million investment program launched by its new
controller, local investment fund GP Investimentos, suggests
Business News Americas.

GP Investimentos took over control of Cemar in April from power
regulator Aneel, which had managed the utility since 2002 when
US power company PPL (NYSE: PPL) abandoned the investment after
sustaining heavy losses.

Among conditions for taking over control, GP Investimentos
injected capital into Cemar while creditor federal power holding
company Eletrobras agreed to exchange its debt for a minority
stake.

The company's debt has been reduced to BRL416 million from
BRL747 million.

CONTACT:  COMPANHIA ENERGETICA DO MARANHAO
          Av. Colares Moreira, 477
          65075-441 - Sao Luiz- MA
          PHONE: (98) 217-2119
          FAX: (98) 235-3024
          WEBSITE: http://www.cemar.com.br/


EMBRATEL: Records 3Q EBITDA of BRL241 Mln
-----------------------------------------
HIGHLIGHTS

- Net revenues were R$1.8 billion in the third quarter of 2004,
flat when compared to the third quarter of 2003. Year-to-date
total revenues were R$5.5 billion, increasing 5.9 percent
compared to the same period of 2003.

- Local revenues represented 9.2 percent of total net revenues
in the third quarter of 2004. Quarter-over-quarter, local
services revenues rose 5.7 percent. Year-over-year local
revenues rose sixfold and represented 8.3 percent of total
revenues.

- EBITDA in the third quarter of 2004 was R$241 million. That
total was reduced by approximately R$107 million of provisions
primarily related to civil and labor contingencies.

- Net loss in the third quarter of 2004 was R$67 million. Year-
o-date net loss was R$126 million.

- Total capital expenditures in the third quarter of 2004 were
R$120 million. Year-to-date, capital expenditures were R$414
million.

Voice Business:

Domestic Long Distance

Domestic long distance revenues were R$949 million in the third
quarter of 2004. Year-to-date domestic long distance revenues
were R$3.0 billion. Compared to the second quarter of 2004,
domestic long-distance revenues declined 3.0 percent.
Competition and the reduction in the number of local areas
contributed to this decrease and offset the growth in revenues
resulting from tariff increases. A smaller number of local areas
reduced the size of the long distance market, and although it
represents some loss of revenue for Embratel, the gross margin
impact of this elimination is positive.

Third quarter 2004 domestic long distance revenues declined 11.1
percent when compared to the third quarter of 2003, which
reflected a lower level of basic voice traffic mainly due to
competition. Year-to-date domestic long distance revenues were
R$3.0 billion, representing an increase of 1.8 percent when
compared to the first nine months of 2003. This growth is
attributable to the introduction of the per call carrier
selection code for the long distance SMP market in the second
half of 2003.

International Long Distance

International long distance revenues were R$176 million in the
third quarter of 2004. In the nine months ended September 30,
2004, international long distance revenues were R$566 million.
International long distance revenues declined 6.5 percent
quarter-over-quarter and 13.9 percent year-over-year. Tariff
reductions of 8.2 percent (July), and competition from legal and
illegal providers, which are estimated to represent 30-39
percent of the international long distance market, were the main
causes for the decline in the third quarter of 2004 compared to
the previous 2004 quarter.

International revenues in 2004 amounted to R$566 million
compared to R$645 million in the first nine months of 2003. This
decline is the result of price reductions and competition.

Data Business:

Embratel's data communications revenues were R$425 million in
the third quarter of 2004 and R$1,272 million in the first nine
months of 2004. Compared to the second quarter of 2004, data
revenues declined 1.6 percent due to the fact that Internet
contracts with certain providers are under negotiation and have
not been renewed. Wholesale data revenues have increased in the
third quarter of 2004 due to increasing demand from cellular
providers. Compared to the third quarter of 2003, data revenues
decreased 2.8 percent.

Embratel's physical network continues to increase. The number of
line-equivalent (64 kbits equivalent circuits) rose 36 percent
compared to the third quarter of 2003.

In the first nine months of 2004, data revenues reached R$1,272
million compared to R$1,331 million in the prior year period.
The decline is mainly attributable to price reductions and the
general downturn in the Internet provider market.

During the third quarter of 2004, Embratel's free internet
service, Click21, broadened its geographic reach by extending
local coverage to 137 new cities. Click21 also increased the
number of clients approximately 25 percent in the quarter. With
the increased acceptance of Click21 - thanks to its award-
winning higher access quality - Embratel is rapidly building a
franchise which can be leveraged to offer other products in its
portfolio.

Local Business:

Embratel ended the third quarter of 2004 with local revenues of
R$164 million, reflecting a 5.7 percent increase relative to the
prior 2004 quarter. This quarter-over-quarter revenue growth
reflected the sale of local services to business clients and
consumers. Year-over-year, local revenues increased almost six-
fold due to the growth in Embratel's local service and the
acquisition of Vesper. Year-to-date, local service revenues were
R$455 million compared to R$52 million in the prior year period.


EBITDA:

In the third quarter of 2004, EBITDA was R$241 million compared
to R$519 million in the third quarter of 2003 and R$347 million
in the second quarter of 2004. EBITDA margin was 13.6 percent in
the third quarter of 2004. EBITDA margin in the third quarter of
2004 was negatively affected by provisions of R$107 million.

Interconnection costs as a percentage of net revenues declined
to 46.3 percent in the third quarter of 2004 compared to 46.9
percent in the previous 2004 quarter. Interconnection costs were
affected by a mix of factors that had a favorable net result.

The local access tariff (TU-RL) fell in July due to the annual
tariff readjustment, contributing to a reduction in costs.
However, in September, both the local access and long distance
interconnection tariffs increased by 5.32 percent due to the
partial adjustment to the IGP-DI basis. The reduction in the
number of local areas which began in June and ended in September
contributed to lower interconnection costs.

Personnel expenses (including employee profit sharing) in the
third quarter of 2004 declined to 11.1 percent of net revenues
compared to 15.6 percent in the second quarter of 2004.

Third party services represented 12.3 percent of revenues
compared to 14.5 percent in the second quarter of 2004 and 12.4
percent in the third quarter of 2003. The company is in the
process of reviewing and renegotiating a number of third party
contracts.

Allowance for doubtful accounts remained flat at 3.7 percent of
gross revenues (4.9 percent of net revenues). A total of R$107
million was set aside for provisions in the third quarter of
2004.

Approximately 1/3 of this amount was classified under "Taxes"
and related to some taxes the company conservatively believes
may become due. The remaining 2/3rds of this amount was
classified under "Other operating income ("expense")" and
represented provisions related to labor and civil contingencies.

EBIT:

EBIT loss was R$43 million in the third quarter of 2004 compared
to R$233 million profit in the corresponding 2003 quarter and
R$58 million profit in the second quarter of 2004. The decline
in EBIT results from lower revenues, increased interconnection
costs and the above mentioned provisions. Year-to-date EBIT was
R$170 million profit compared with R$436 million in the first
nine months of 2003.

Net Income:

Embratel registered a net loss of R$67 million in the third
quarter of 2004 compared to a profit of R$15 million in the
third quarter of 2003 and a loss of R$64 million in the previous
2004 quarter.

In the first nine months of 2004 Embratel registered a loss of
R$126 million compared to profits of R$155 million in the same
period of the previous year.

Debt:

Embratel ended the quarter with a total outstanding debt of
R$3.6 billion. Debt repayment, net of new debt (all related to
the refinancing agreement) was approximately R$455 million. Net
debt declined to R$2.8 billion. Short-term debt was R$1.5
billion. Approximately 86.5 percent of short-term debt is either
hedged or in Reais (Exhibit 7).

Embratel is in the process of restructuring high cost debt
associated with the refinancing program of March 2003 for new,
lower-cost debt. The company has been authorized by its Board of
Directors to refinance up to US$600 million. Financing options
being considered are local commercial paper, syndicated loans,
and bilateral facilities.

Capex:

Total capital expenditures in the quarter were R$120 million. In
the first nine months of 2004, capital expenditures were R$414
million. The breakout of this expenditure is as follows: local
infrastructure, access and services- 22.5 percent (including
PPIs and Vesper); data and Internet services - 26.7 percent;
network infrastructure - 4.0 percent, others - 21.7 percent and
Star One - 25.1 percent.

Embratel is the premier communications provider in Brazil
offering a wide array of advanced communications services over
its own state of the art network. It is the leading provider of
data and Internet services in the country and is well positioned
to be the country's only true national local service provider
for corporate customers. Service offerings include: telephony,
advanced voice, high-speed data communication services,
Internet, satellite data communications, corporate networks and
local voice services for corporate clients. Embratel is uniquely
positioned to be the all-distance telecommunications network of
South America. The Company's network has countrywide coverage
with 32,466 km of fiber cables.

To view financial statements:
http://bankrupt.com/misc/Emb3Q.pdf

CONTACT: Embratel Participacoes S.A.
         Rua Regenta Feijo
         166 sala 1687-B Centro
         Rio de Janeiro, 20060-060
         Brazil
         Phone: 5521-519-6474
         Website: http://www.embratel.net.br


GERDAU: Gerdau Ameristeel Prices Offering of its Common Shares
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation (TSX: GNA.TO) announced Friday
that its registration statement has become effective under the
U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and that it has obtained a receipt
for a final prospectus from Canadian securities regulatory
authorities in connection with its offering of 70 million common
shares, of which Gerdau S.A, its parent, will purchase 35
million common shares and 35 million common shares will be
distributed to the public through an underwriting syndicate
described below.

The common shares are being sold in the United States and Canada
at a price of $4.70, or Cdn. $5.90, per share. The total gross
proceeds will be approximately $329 million, or Cdn. $413
million. If the underwriters exercise their overallotment option
in full (for 5.25 million common shares) and Gerdau S.A., as it
has agreed, purchases an equivalent number of additional common
shares, total gross proceeds will be approximately $378 million,
or Cdn. $475 million.

The proceeds of this offering will be used to finance Gerdau
Ameristeel's previously announced proposed acquisition of
certain assets and working capital of four long steel product
mills and four downstream facilities, which are referred to as
North Star Steel, from Cargill, Incorporated, to fund capital
expenditures and working capital and for general corporate
purposes.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and BMO
Nesbitt Burns Inc. are acting as joint book-running managers for
the public offering in the United States and Canada. CIBC World
Markets Corp., J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley &
Co. Incorporated are acting as underwriters.

The common shares were due to commence trading on the New York
Stock Exchange on Friday, Oct. 15, under the symbol GNA. The
offering is expected to close on or about October 20, 2004.

For more information on the offering or to obtain a copy of the
prospectus relating to this offering, contact: Merrill Lynch at
World Financial Center, 250 Vesey St., New York, NY 10080 or 181
Bay Street, Suite 400, Toronto, Ontario M6G 2S9, or BMO Nesbitt
Burns, 1 First Canadian Place, 4th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5X
1H3.

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 province, state or other jurisdiction in
which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior
to registration or qualification under the securities laws of
any province, state or other jurisdiction.

ABOUT GERDAU AMERISTEEL

Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest minimill steel producer
in North America with annual manufacturing capacity of over 6.4
million tons of mill finished steel products. Through its
vertically integrated network of 11 minimills (including one
50%-owned minimill), 13 scrap recycling facilities and 32
downstream operations, Gerdau Ameristeel primarily serves
customers in the eastern half of North America.

The company's products are generally sold to steel service
centers, fabricators, or directly to original equipment
manufacturers for use in a variety of industries, including
construction, automotive, mining and equipment manufacturing.
Gerdau Ameristeel's common shares are traded on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol GNA.TO.

CONTACT:  GERDAU AMERISTEEL
          Tom J. Landa
          Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
          (813) 207-2300
          tlanda@gerdauameristeel.com



===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================

ICE: Blacklists Companies From Contract Tenders
-----------------------------------------------
In an effort to avoid more corruption scandals, Costa Rica's
electricity and telecoms monopoly ICE has decided to blacklist
France's Alcatel, Sweden's Ericsson or Spanish contractor
Inabensa from participating in tenders of supply and
installation contracts, reports Business News Americas.

The tendering process at ICE is currently under investigation by
the country's comptroller. The probe was initiated amid
corruption scandals involving payoffs of government officials in
exchange for contract awards.

But according to ICE President Pablo Cob, contracts currently in
place with Alcatel, Ericsson and Inabensa will not be affected.

"The supplier cannot take advantage of its own misconduct, it
has to continue complying with the responsibilities as outlined
in its contract," Cob said.

"We want to continue the search for all the guilty parties of
this unacceptable situation because the damage done to this
institution by those who offered and received these funds is
irreparable," he added.

Last week, Alcatel's ex-country manager Edgar Valverde Acosta
admitted that he paid off public officials in order to win a
400,000 GSM line contract. Alcatel has fired him for violating
the company's ethics code.


ICE: Suspends Garabito Contract to Probe Discrepancies
------------------------------------------------------
ICE has decided to put off a turnkey contract to build the
US$160 million, 190MW diesel-fired Garabito combined cycle
project in Puntarenas province, Business News Americas reports,
citing company president Pablo Cob.

The decision came after it was discovered that Abener Energia,
which won the contract in July this year, was involved in a
separate contract - an underground cabling in San Jose. In this
particular contract, US$100,000 was supposedly paid to former
president Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

Cob cited Abener Energia's Spanish parent Abengoa as saying that
the payment was for the purchase of some land. But according to
Rodriguez's business administrator, it was for some consulting
work.

The Garabito project will be suspended while the discrepancies
are investigated.



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

BELLSOUTH CORP.: Completes Sale of 3 LatAm Operations to TEM
------------------------------------------------------------
BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS) and Telefonica Moviles S.A.
(NYSE: TEM), the wireless affiliate of Telefonica, S.A. (NYSE:
TEF), have completed the transfer of BellSouth's ownership
interest in three wireless operations in Latin America: Ecuador,
Guatemala and Panama. Telefonica Moviles has taken control of
the operations of these properties, effective immediately.

BellSouth will receive $1.2 billion for its interest in the
three properties and will recognize a gain of approximately $600
million, or approximately 33 cents per share, in the fourth
quarter of 2004.

The two companies announced in March 2004 that they had reached
a definitive agreement for BellSouth to sell its interests in 10
Latin American operations to Telefonica Moviles. The agreement
provided a purchase price based on total enterprise value of
$5.85 billion. As announced at that time, the transaction will
close in stages with transfer of BellSouth's interest in the
operations in the remaining seven Latin American countries
(Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay and
Venezuela) expected to close by the end of 2004 subject to all
requisite governmental approvals being obtained.

About BellSouth Corporation

BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications company
headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and a parent company of
Cingular Wireless, the nation's second largest wireless voice
and data provider.


PACIFICTEL: Plans to Slash Telecsa Participation
------------------------------------------------
Ecuadorian state-run fixed line operator Pacifictel is planning
to reduce its stake in Telecsa, its mobile joint venture with
sister company Andinatel, as it seeks a way out of its financial
crisis.

According to Pacifictel President Alberto Perez-Llona, the
company is negotiating with Andinatel over a plan to reduce its
50% stake in Telecsa to 17%, giving 33% to Andinatel.

The proposal would be temporary. Once Pacifictel recovers from
its own internal crises, it will get the shares back.

Pacifictel has been unable to finance its equity obligations.
The company is two months overdue on monthly payments of
US$800,000 that it and Andinatel agreed to inject into Telecsa.
The payments cover expenses such as administration fees.



=====================
E L   S A L V A D O R
=====================

BANCO DE COMERCIO: Two Banks Fight for Control
----------------------------------------------
Panamanian bank Primer Banco del Istmo (Banistmo) continues to
set its sights on Banco de Comercio in El Salvador as it
scrambles to counter the takeover offer of rival Scotiabank.

Banistmo Chairman Alberto Vallarino told local daily La Prensa
that his company hopes to acquire 51 to 100 percent of Banco de
Comercio. He adds that Banistmo is prepared to launch a public
tender offer for the bank's shares.

The Banco de Comercio bid follows several Central American
acquisitions made by Banistmo in recent times. The bank
presently controls 89 percent of Honduran banking group Banco
Grupo el Ahorro Hondureno (BGA). It has also raised its stake in
Honduras' El Ahorro Hondureno Compa¤Ħa de Seguros to 60 percent.

Meanwhile, the El Salvadorean media has reported that Scotiabank
is poised to acquire 59 percent of Banco de Comercio with the
intention of eventually raising its stake to 100 percent. A
merger would push Scotiabank El Salvador fourth place in the
country's banking industry.



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

GRUPO MEXICO: Asks Labor Authorities to Nullify Strike
------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico SA (GMEXICO.MX) said Monday it will request
government labor authorities to rule against a strike at
Cananea, the company's biggest copper mine, relates Dow Jones
Newswires.

Cananea workers began striking Friday demanding the payment of
5% of Cananea's equity, related to the privatization of the mine
15 years ago.

Grupo Mexico claims that the National Mining, Metallurgical and
Similar Workers Union was demanding 15% in wage increases, but
refused to negotiate the collective contract renewal until the
5% equity issue was resolved, even though the equity issue is
not included in the contract.

The strike has extended to Grupo Mexico's La Caridad mining
complex. The National Mining, Metallurgical and Similar Workers
Union said the strike that started at 1900 GMT Monday affects La
Caridad's mine, smelter and refinery, as well as a lime plant.

Authorities can order strikers back to work if they consider
there are no grounds for the stoppage. However, the last time
such a ruling was made, the union obtained a court injunction
and workers stayed on strike.

The strikes complicate matters for Grupo Mexico, which is in
contract negotiations with workers at its U.S. mining unit
Asarco and is hoping to get shareholder approval to merge its
Mexican mining operations with Southern Peru Copper Corp.
(PCU.VL), of which it owns 54%.

It also comes as the company returns to profitability after
several difficult years during which falling copper prices led
it into debt problems.

CONTACT:  GRUPO MEXICO S.A. DE C.V.
          Avenida Baja California 200,
          Colonia Roma Sur
          06760 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
          Phone: +52-55-5264-7775
          Fax: +52-55-5264-7769
          Home Page: http://www.gmexico.com
          Contacts:
          Germ n Larrea Mota-Velasco, Chairman and CEO
          Xavier Garca de Quevedo Topete, President and COO
          Alfredo Casar Perez, COO, Ferrocarril Mexicano
          Daniel Chavez Carren, COO, Industrial Minera Mexico
          Daniel Tellechea Salido, VP and Administration and
                                         Finance President


TV AZTECA: Mulls Peso Bond Sale
-------------------------------
TV Azteca SA (TVAZTCPO MM), Mexico's second-biggest television
broadcaster, on Monday revealed plans to sell as much as US$393
million in peso-denominated bonds with maturities of one to 10
years.

"The program is part of a general plan to reduce financial costs
and currency risk," said Daniel McCosh, a company spokesman.

Most of TV Azteca's revenue is in pesos while much of its debt
is in dollars.

Meanwhile, TV Azteca awaits a ruling by the Securities and
Exchange Commission over a controversial debt deal involving
wireless phone company Unefon SA (UNEFON.MX), private concern
Codisco Investments LLC, and Canadian equipment supplier Nortel
Networks Corp. (NT).

Merrill Lynch estimates that SEC may eventually slap TV Azteca
with a fine of between US$10 million and US$26 million, a figure
negligible compared with the US$218 million profits made by
Ricardo Salinas and his partner Moises Saba, owners of TV
Azteca.

The SEC ruling, expected within the next weeks, would be
counterbalanced by the improved economic prospects in Mexico,
the next political campaign, which would benefit the television,
the low price of shares compared with the company performance,
and the anticipated payment of dividends, which tranquilized
shareholders.

Moreover, the eventual fine from SEC would have no effects on
other companies ran by Salinas as Elektra, Banco Azteca, Unefon
and Iusacell.

CONTACT: TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.
         Periferico Sur
         No. 4121
         Col., Fuentes del Pedregal
         14141 D.F.
         Mexico
         Phone: 52-5-420-1313



=======
P E R U
=======

NUEVO CONTINENTE: Seeks Government Help to Maintain Services
------------------------------------------------------------
Peruvian carrier Nuevo Continente enters turbulent skies as a
shortage in cash to buy jet fuel resulted in the cancellation of
several flights over the weekend.

Reuters reports that the airline had been unable to buy fuel on
credit from Petroperu because of an existing $150,000 overdraft
on its $300,000 credit line.

On Monday, Nuevo Continente asked the government's assistance in
seeking more funds for its operations. Company spokesman German
Arata said "we'll meet Transport Ministry officials to ask for
help, like they gave LanPeru." The government had rescued Lan
Peru last week after being briefly grounded by a court ruling
saying that it breached foreign ownership rules.

The flight cancellations are just the latest on the string of
setbacks that has plagued the airline. Early this year, US
sanctions forced the company to cut back its services. The
sanctions were slapped because of its founder's supposed
connections with the illegal drugs trade.



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

PDVSA: Keeps Central Bank in the Dark About Oil Output
------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela's central bank director, Mr. Domingo Maza, disclosed
last week that state-run oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela
(PdVSA) has not reported to the bank the level of oil production
and exports it is obtaining.

"I should confess that we do not have consistent, precise, and
accurate figures on the level of (oil) production and exports
that PdVSA is obtaining," local daily El Universal quoted Mr.
Maza as saying.

At the same time, the banking official criticized PdVSA for not
investing enough in oil exploration and production.

PdVSA "is not investing enough, first, to maintain existing
(production) potential because it could decline, and second, to
expand this potential," said Maza.



                            ***********


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.

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
prior written permission of the publishers.

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,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
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.


* * * End of Transmission * * *