TCRLA_Public/041203.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

         Friday, December 3, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 240

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

AES CORP.: Argentine Unit Signs Government Concession Accord
AGROFLEX S.A.: Seeks Court Authorization to Reorganize
AUTOMOTORES PUERTO: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
BRAMESC S.H.: Court Orders Liquidation
COTO: Closes Debt Restructuring Accord

DRES. MOREAU: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
ENVASES DEL NORTE: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Request
HELAFRUT S.R.L.: Begins Liquidation Proceedings
LA CASA: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
MAMBA S.A.: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings

MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: New Share, Bond Offering Priced
NEW DELIVERY: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
RECTIFICACION TURDERA: Debts Stayed; Court OK's Reorganization
S.B. MANDATARIA: Court Orders Liquidation
TELECOM ARGENTINA/TELEFONICA: Strike Cripples Services

TRYA S.A.: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Sells Canadian Subsidiary for $275M


B R A Z I L

CEMIG: Pays BRL170 Million Dividend
PARMALAT BRAZIL: Nears Agreement With Creditors
VARIG: VP May Propose Special Credit Line to Save Airline
* BRAZIL: IDB Extends $33M Loan


C H I L E

CHIQUITA BRANDS: Redemption Price Set For 10.56% Senior Notes
CHIQUITA BRANDS: Approves Quarterly Dividend of $0.10 per Share


C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Receives Loans Totaling $35M Worth From IDB


C O S T A   R I C A

ICE: Seeks Aresep's Approval to Hike Rates By March 2005


M E X I C O

HYLSAMEX: EDC Agreements to Boost Exports

  

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

COURTS TRINIDAD: Dodges Parent Company's Troubles


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Plans to Increase Refining Capacity  


     - - - - - - - - - -

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

AES CORP.: Argentine Unit Signs Government Concession Accord
------------------------------------------------------------
Empresa Distribuidora La Plata SA (Edelap), a unit of US-based
power company AES Corp. (AES), has reached an agreement with the
government public services agency Uniren regarding its
concession for power distribution at La Plata and neighboring
areas.

According to local daily El Clarin, the accord, which lasts
until 2006, allows for an increase in electricity rates in the
first quarter of 2005 that would imply an 8% hike for all users
or a 15% rise if only large-scale industrial users are affected.

Clarin also said the agreement calls for ARS16 million
($1=ARS2.9525) in outstanding Edelap fines owed to the Argentine
electricity regulator to be temporarily suspended and then
converted into investment if the company meets certain quality
standards. If the requirements are not met, the fines will be
reinstated, the paper said.

The newspaper also said the agreement commits AES to withdraw
the US$100 million claim it has filed against Argentina in
ICSID, the World Bank's arbitration tribunal.


AGROFLEX S.A.: Seeks Court Authorization to Reorganize
------------------------------------------------------
Agroflex S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires, has
requested for reorganization after failing to pay its
liabilities. The reorganization petition, once approved by the
court, will allow the company to negotiate a settlement with its
creditors in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

Infobae reports that the case is pending before Court No. 9 of
the city's civil and commercial tribunal. Clerk No. 18 assists
the court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Agroflex S.A.
         Romulo Naon 3129
         Buenos Aires


AUTOMOTORES PUERTO: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
-----------------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Andres Angel Landro was assigned trustee
for the bankruptcy of local company Automotores Puerto Nuevo
S.A., relates Infobae.

The trustee will verify creditors' claims until February 23,
2005, the source adds. After that, he will prepare the
individual reports, which are to be submitted in court on April
6, 2005. The general report submission should follow on May 19,
2005.

The city's Court No. 37 holds jurisdiction over the Company's
case. Clerk no. 37 assists the court on this case.

CONTACT: Automotores Puerto Nuevo S.A.
         Chacabuco 721
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Andres Angel Landro, Trustee
         Avda Raul Scalabrini Ortiz 215
         Buenos Aires


BRAMESC S.H.: Court Orders Liquidation
--------------------------------------
Bramesc S.H. prepares to wind-up its operations following the
bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court No. 2 of Mendoza's
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 Mr. Jorge Iermoli as
trustee. He is scheduled to submit individual reports for court
approval on December 21, 2004. Afterwards, the trustee will also
submit a general report on June 16, 2005.

CONTACT: Mr. Jorge Iermoli, Trustee
         San Martin 1167
         Mendoza


COTO: Closes Debt Restructuring Accord
--------------------------------------
Argentine supermarket chain Coto struck a debt deal with 100% of
its creditors. According to the agreement, which involved no
haircut, the company will have to pay its creditors US$200
million within 6 years. Coto was advised by Infupa and the law
firm Munoz de Toro & Munoz de Toro.


DRES. MOREAU: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
-----------------------------------------------
Court No. 2 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Dres. Moreau S.R.L. bankrupt after the company
defaulted on its debt payments. The order effectively places the
company's affairs as well as its assets under the control of
court-appointed trustee Mauricio Mudric.

As trustee, Mr. Mudric is tasked with verifying the authenticity
of claims presented by the company's creditors. The verification
phase is ongoing until March 7, 2005.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports based on the forwarded claims for final
approval by the court on April 15, 2004. A general report will
also be submitted on May 30, 2005.

Infobae reports that the city's Clerk No. 3 assists the court on
this case that will end with the disposal of the company's
assets in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Mauricio Mudric, Trustee
         Tucuman 893
         Buenos Aires


ENVASES DEL NORTE: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Request
----------------------------------------------------------
Envases del Norte S.A. entered bankruptcy after Judge Hualde,
serving for Court No. 9 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial
tribunal approved a bankruptcy motion filed by Obra Social del
Personal de la Industria del Plastico.

Working with Dr. Taricco Vera, the city's Clerk No. 18, the
court assigned Mr. Miguel Troisi 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 February 22, 2005.

CONTACT: Envases del Norte S.A.
         Avenida Las Heras 2024
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Miguel Troisi, Trustee
         Cerrito 146
         Buenos Aires


HELAFRUT S.R.L.: Begins Liquidation Proceedings
-----------------------------------------------
Helafrut S.R.L. of Bahia Blanca will begin liquidating its
assets after Court No. 2 of the city's civil and commercial
tribunal declared the company bankrupt.

Infobae reveals that creditors with outstanding claims against
the Company have until February 16, 2005 to submit proof of the
indebtedness to a court-appointed trustee for verifications.  

CONTACT: Helafrut S.R.L.
         Ameghino 1452
         Bahia Blanca
  

LA CASA: Liquidates Assets to Pay Debts
---------------------------------------
Local company La Casa de los Pyjamas S.C.A. will begin
liquidating its assets following the bankruptcy pronouncement
issued by Court No. 9 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial
tribunal, Infobae reports.

The ruling places the company under the supervision of court-
appointed trustee Gabriel Jorge Churin. The trustee will verify
creditors' proofs of claims until March 23, 2005. The validated
claims will be presented in court as individual reports on May
16, 2005.

Mr. Churin will also submit a general report, containing a
summary of the company's financial status as well as relevant
events pertaining to the bankruptcy, on May 16, 2005. The
bankruptcy process will end with the disposal company assets in
favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Gabriel Jorge Churin, Trustee
         Sarmiento 731
         Buenos Aires


MAMBA S.A.: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
--------------------------------------------
Court No. 16 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Mamba S.A. "Quiebra," reports Infobae. The city's Clerk
No. 31 assists the court on the case that will close with the
liquidation of the Company's assets to repay creditors.

Mr. Jose Miras, who has been appointed as trustee, will verify
creditors' claims until February 21, 2005 and then prepare the
individual reports based on the results of the verification
process.

CONTACT: Mr. Jose Miras, Trustee
         Paraguay 1307
         Buenos Aires


MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: New Share, Bond Offering Priced
-------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A. (``Millicom'' or the
``Company'') announced Wednesday that it has priced its
offerings of 8 million Ordinary Shares in the form of Swedish
Depositary Receipts (``SDRs'') or Ordinary Shares (the ``Share
Offering'') and $175 million of convertible bonds convertible
into Ordinary Shares and/or SDRs (the ``Bonds'' or ``Bond
Offering'').

The Ordinary Shares were priced at $23.24 per Ordinary Share
(SEK 156.90 per SDR), today's closing price on Nasdaq. Payment
for and settlement of the Ordinary Shares is expected to occur
on December 7, 2004.

The Bonds were priced at par and will pay an annual coupon of
4.00%, payable semi-annually in arrear. The conversion price was
set at $34.86 per share, representing a premium of 50% to
today's closing price on NASDAQ. At that conversion price, the
Bonds will initially be convertible into an aggregate of
approximately 5.02 million Ordinary Shares or SDRs commencing on
the date that is 41 days after the issuance date of the Bonds.
The conversion price is subject to adjustment in the case of
certain dilutive events. Payment for and settlement of the Bonds
is expected to occur on January 7, 2005. Millicom will undertake
to list the Bonds on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange on that date.

The aggregate proceeds of the offerings are expected to be
approximately $361 million (before deducting commissions,
concessions and the expenses of the offerings and without giving
effect to any exercise of the lead manager's options to purchase
additional Ordinary Shares or Bonds). The net proceeds of the
offerings will primarily be used by Millicom to fund investment
in its existing businesses, including in capital expenditures
and license renewals, as well as to potentially increase its
stake in any of its existing holdings.

Millicom has agreed, subject to certain exceptions, not to sell
any further Ordinary Shares and/or SDRs of the Company, or
securities convertible into or exchangeable for such Ordinary
Shares and/or SDRs, for a period of 120 days.

The Bonds, Ordinary Shares and SDRs, including Ordinary Shares
or SDRs issuable upon conversion of the Bonds, have not been and
will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and
may not be offered or sold in the United States unless
registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 or pursuant to
an exemption from registration.

CONTACTS: Mr. Marc Beuls
          President and Chief Executive Officer
          Millicom International Cellular S.A.
          Luxembourg
          Phone:  +352 27 759 327

          Mr. Andrew Best
          Investor Relations
          Phone:  +44 (0)7798 576378
       
          Web Site: http://www.waymaker.net


NEW DELIVERY: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
-----------------------------------------------------
Court No. 21 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
currently reviewing the merits of a petition to reorganize filed
by New Delivery S.A.

La Nacion recalls that the company filed the petition following
cessation of debt payments. Reorganization will allow the
Company to avoid bankruptcy by negotiating a settlement with its
creditors.

CONTACT: New Delivery S.A.
         Talcahuano 38
         Buenos Aires


RECTIFICACION TURDERA: Debts Stayed; Court OK's Reorganization
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rectificacion Turdera S.R.L. will begin reorganization
proceedings following the approval of its petition by Court No.
6 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal. The opening of
the reorganization will allow the company to negotiate a
settlement with its creditors in order to avoid a straight
liquidation.

Mr. Luis A. Traverso will oversee the reorganization proceedings
as the court-appointed trustee. He will verify creditors' claims
until February 25, 2005. The validated claims will be presented
in court as individual reports on April 12, 2004.

The trustee is also required by the court to submit a general
report essentially auditing the company's accounting and
business records as well as summarizing important events
pertaining to the reorganization. This report will be presented
in court on May 24, 2005.

The Informative Assembly, the final stage of a reorganization
where the settlement proposal is presented to the company's
creditors for approval, is scheduled on November 7, 2005.

CONTACT: Mr. Luis A. Traverso, Trustee
         Avda Corrientes 1820
         Buenos Aires


S.B. MANDATARIA: Court Orders Liquidation
-----------------------------------------
S.B. Mandataria S.A. prepares to wind-up its operations
following the bankruptcy pronouncement issued by Court No. 2 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 Mr. Jorge Eladio Feito
as trustee. He will be reviewing creditors' proofs of claims
until March 4, 2005. The verified claims will be the basis for
the individual reports to be presented for court approval on
April 19, 2005. Afterwards, the trustee will also submit a
general report on June 1, 2005.

Clerk No. 3 assists the court on this case that will end with
the disposal of the company's assets to cover its liabilities.

CONTACT: S.B. Mandataria S.A.
         Nogoya 2459
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Jorge Eladio Feito, Trustee
         San Martin 662
         Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA/TELEFONICA: Strike Cripples Services
------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's telephone service is at risk of collapsing as a
national strike by thousands of workers from Telecom Argentina
SA and Telefonica de Argentina SA entered into its fifth day
Wednesday, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Striking telephone
workers are camped out inside and surrounding at least two
buildings in Buenos Aires, forcing their closure.

"The telephone service is starting to fail as we can't provide
maintenance to the operator call center, which monitors the
lines in all the country," said Pablo Talamoni, spokesman for
Telecom.

The union is threatening to expand the protest unless a 25%
increase in wages is granted. The protests are already affecting
Telefonica's operations and an extension of the strike threatens
to spark service cuts as line maintenance isn't carried out,
union leaders said.

"The system has already started to deteriorate but that's the
companies' responsibility, not ours," union leader Claudio Marin
said.

CONTACT:  TELECOM ARGENTINA S.A.
          Alicia Moreau de Justo 50, 10th Floor
          Capital Federal (1107) Republica Argentina
          Phone: +54 11 4968 4000
          Home Page: http://www.telecom.com.ar

          Contacts:
          Alberto J. Ricciardi, Chief Financial Officer
          Elvira Lazzati, Finance Director
          Pedro Insussarry, Investor Relations Manager
          Phone: (5411) 4968-3626/3627
          Fax: (5411) 4313-5842/3109
          E-mail: inversores@intersrv.telecom.com.ar

          TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA
          Tucuman 1, 18th Floor, 1049
          Buenos Aires, Argentina
          Phone: (212) 688-6840
          Home Page: http://www.telefonica.com.ar


TRYA S.A.: Court Designates Trustee for Bankruptcy
--------------------------------------------------
Buenos Aires accountant Jose Eduardo Obes was assigned trustee
for the liquidation of local company Trya S.A., relates Infobae.
The trustee will verify creditors' claims until March 16, 2005.

After the verification deadline, Mr. Obes will prepare the
individual reports, which are to be submitted in court on May
12, 2005. The submission of the general report should follow on
June 30, 2005.

The city's civil and commercial Court No. 9 holds jurisdiction
over the Company's case. Clerk No. 17 assists the court with the
proceedings.

CONTACT: Mr. Jose Eduardo Obes, Trustee
         Lavalle 1619
         Buenos Aires


VINTAGE PETROLEUM: Sells Canadian Subsidiary for $275M
------------------------------------------------------
Vintage Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE:VPI) announced Wednesday that it
has closed its previously announced sale of its wholly-owned
Canadian subsidiary, Vintage Petroleum Canada, Inc. ("VPC") to
Midnight Oil and Gas, Ltd. for a total consideration of US$275
million cash subject to normal post-closing adjustments and
expenses. VPC holds all of Vintage's properties in Canada and
had estimated working capital of approximately US$22 million as
of the transaction's June 30, 2004 effective date. At year-end
2003, Vintage disclosed estimated proved reserves in Canada of
14.6 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Proceeds from the sale of its Canadian interests will be used to
reduce debt outstanding under its revolving credit facility and
for general corporate purposes. Pro forma for the sale of
Canada, net debt at September 30, 2004 of $631 million is
reduced 42 percent to about $365 million. This reduces Vintage's
net debt-to-book capitalization ratio to approximately 38
percent, with net debt representing approximately 1.1 times 2005
targeted cash flow of $320 million and less than one times 2005
targeted EBITDAX of $440 million.

Vintage also announced today that its bank group has completed
its semi-annual review of the borrowing base under the company's
bank credit facility. After the sale of its Canadian properties,
the borrowing base remains unchanged at $325 million.
Approximately $130 million of the proceeds from the sale will be
used to reduce outstanding advances to zero, creating unused
availability under the $300 million bank credit facility of
approximately $297 million, net of outstanding letters of
credit.

"We are pleased with the closing of this transaction as it
represents a significant step in the execution of our 2004 plan
to improve shareholder value," said Charles C. Stephenson, Jr.,
CEO. "The proceeds and book gain from this sale will result in
reducing our net debt-to-book capitalization ratio below the 40
percent range, thus achieving our stated financial target, and
the enhancement of our flexibility to fund future production
growth," added Mr. Stephenson.

Vintage Petroleum, Inc. is an independent energy company engaged
in the acquisition, exploitation and exploration of oil and gas
properties and the marketing of natural gas and crude oil.
Company headquarters are in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its common
shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol VPI.

CONTACT: Mr. Robert E. Phaneuf
         Vintage Petroleum, Inc.
         Tulsa
         Phone: 918-592-0101
        
         Web Site: http://www.vintagepetroleum.com



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

CEMIG: Pays BRL170 Million Dividend
-----------------------------------
Companhia Energetica De Minas Gerais (Cemig) informs its
stockholders that the Board of Directors, in a meeting held on
November 30, 2004, decided to pay interest on equity in respect
of the year 2004, under Article 9 of Law 9249/95 of 26 December
1995, in the amount of R$170,000,000.00 (one hundred and seventy
million Reais), equal to R$1.048834 per thousand shares. This
will be considered as part of the calculation of the obligatory
dividend, in the terms of Paragraph 1 of Clause 30 of the
Bylaws, and the form and date of payment will be decided at a
meeting of the Board of Directors to be held on an opportune
date.

All stockholders whose names are on the company's Nominal Share
Register on 10 December 2004 will have the right to this
payment, on which tax at 15% will be withheld at source of
payment, other than for stockholders that are exempt from this
withholding under current legislation. The shares will trade
with the exclusion of this benefit on 11 December 2004.

The Company reminds stockholders of the importance of updating
their registration information. This can be done by visiting any
branch of Banco Itau S.A. (the institution which administers
Cemig's system of registered nominal shares), taking their
personal documents with them.

CONTACT: Companhia Energetica De Minas Gerais - Cemig
         Av.Barbacena, 1200
         Santo Agostinho - CEP 30190-131
         Belo Horizonte - MG
         Brasil
         Fax (0XX31)3299-3934
         Phone: (0XX31)3299-4524


PARMALAT BRAZIL: Nears Agreement With Creditors
-----------------------------------------------
Italian dairy Parmalat's unit in Brazil and its 17 creditor
banks are working on a memorandum of understanding, which would
pave the way for the latter to take over the company's business.
But, according to a Valor Economico report, the institutions do
not want to exchange credits for stocks at present.

One of the options is to deliver to the creditors of the holding
Parmalat Participacoes, debentures convertible into shares. The
papers would be issued by a new operational company to be
established.

Among the largest creditors of the holding are BankBoston, ABN
Amro and Santander.

Meanwhile, the creditors of Parmalat Alimentos - unit that
concentrates operational activities of the group in Brazil -
will extend debt profiles. Parmalat Alimentos has debts with
Bank of America, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo, Citibank, Banco
do Brasil, Unibanco, Itau and others.

Parmalat Alimentos and Parmalat Participacoes are in a
bankruptcy process since August. During the process they
recognized debts of BRL500 million and BRL1.6 billion,
respectively.


VARIG: VP May Propose Special Credit Line to Save Airline
---------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian Vice President and Defense Minister Jose Alencar is
likely to propose extending a special government credit line of
US$1 billion to embattled airline Varig, says Dow Jones
Newswires.

Alencar, whose responsibility includes supervising the Brazilian
Air Force and the Air Force's Civil Aviation Division, revealed
his intention at a meeting Tuesday with leaders of airline
workers unions.

Citing union sources present at the meeting, Dow Jones Newswires
said the vice president is likely to broach the idea to Brazil's
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The sources added that the
credit line would be offered by the federal government's
Brazilian Development Bank, or BNDES.

Under the plan, Varig may have to change its name to Nova Varig.
Part of the plan would involve government loans to companies
interested in buying stakes in the new company.

CONTACT:  VARIG (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S.A.)
          Rua 18 de Novembro No. 800, Sao Joao
          90240-040 Porto Alegre,
          Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
          Phone: (51) 358-7039/7040
                 (51) 358-7010/7042
          Fax: +55-51-358-7001
          Home Page: www.varig.com.br/english/
          Contacts:
              Dorival Ramos Schultz, EVP Finance and CFO
              E-mail: dorival.schultz@varig.com.br

              Investor Relations:
              Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha,
              n  365-Bloco "B" - s/458 / Centro
              Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


* BRAZIL: IDB Extends $33M Loan
-------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank announced Wednesday the
approval of a $33 million loan to Brazil for a program to
improve competitiveness of the agrifood sector by focusing on
food security and export support.

Applied research projects will be selected through a competitive
mechanism in the areas of agroexport chains, agrifood health and
quality, preservation and exploitation of biodiversity, organic
agriculture, hydroponics and family agriculture. Strategic areas
of crosscutting research will include sustainability of natural
resources in production systems, genetic resources and
biotechnology and biosafety.

Actions will strengthen the research capacity for export
diversification with high-quality and high-value products and
greater private sector participation; modernize and update
resources to serve strategic research areas; and increase market
access and integration of family production in agrifood and
agribusiness chains. A modernized management model with greater
access to international knowledge will take advantage of new
information and communication systems.

Brazil's agrifood sector has outpaced the rest of the economy
with sustained growth, particularly in the production of
soybeans, sugar, coffee, citrus and meat, highly competitive in
world markets.

"Although a sizeable group of producers is well established and
has made progress in the technological and management fronts,"
said IDB team leader Adriana Delgado, "most small-scale
producers remain in traditional product lines with low levels of
productivity and income. A significant potential lies, for
example, in the four million family farms in Brazil."

"Experience with this type of projects in Latin America shows
that agricultural research is profitable and generates economic
impacts that repay the investments undertaken," said Delgado.
"Incorporation of new technologies is fundamental to ensure that
the whole Brazilian agrifood-agribusiness complex maintains its
current dynamism."

The IDB supports the Brazilian strategy to improve agribusiness
competitiveness internationally by fostering research and the
modernization of infrastructure. Support to the growing
relationship among the Brazilian technological development
system and other international partners is based on priorities
established in bilateral agreements.

The IDB 25-year loan, at a variable interest rate, has a five-
year grace period. Local counterpart funds total $27 million.
The executing agency will be Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa
Agropecuaria.



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

CHIQUITA BRANDS: Redemption Price Set For 10.56% Senior Notes
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. announced Wednesday the
redemption price for its 10.56% Senior Notes due 2009. All of
the approximately $40 million of these notes which are still
outstanding have been called for redemption on Dec. 3, 2004. The
redemption price will be $1,075.36 per $1,000 principal amount
of the notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest to the redemption
date in the amount of $22.88. This redemption price was
calculated in accordance with the provisions in the indenture
relating to the notes.

Beneficial owners of notes in book-entry form do not need to
take action in connection with the redemption. The redemption
price will be automatically deposited into their accounts.
Questions concerning the redemption of the notes can be directed
to the trustee, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, at (800)
344-5128 or the paying agent, Securities Transfer Co. at (513)
579-2414 or (800) 368-3417.

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is a leading international
marketer, producer and distributor of high-quality bananas and
other fresh produce, which are sold under Chiquitar premium
brands and related trademarks. The company is one of the largest
banana producers in the world and a major supplier of bananas in
Europe and North America. The company also distributes and
markets fresh-cut fruit and other branded, value-added fruit
products.

CONTACT: Mr. Michael Mitchell
         Phone: 513-784-8959
         e-mail: mmitchell@chiquita.com

         Web Site: www.chiquita.com


CHIQUITA BRANDS: Approves Quarterly Dividend of $0.10 per Share
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) announced
Wednesday that its board of directors has authorized the
initiation of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share on
the company's outstanding shares of common stock. The first
dividend is payable on Jan. 17, 2005 to shareholders of record
as of the close of business on Jan. 3, 2005. This will be
Chiquita's first dividend since emerging from Chapter 11
restructuring in March 2002.

"The initiation of a regular quarterly cash dividend
demonstrates our optimism in Chiquita's future as well as
confidence in our ability to continue generating strong cash
flows," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive
officer. "It also provides us with an opportunity to provide
returns to our shareholders as we continue to build the long-
term value of our company."

Aguirre continued, "We believe the approved dividend policy will
allow us to fund our future growth initiatives while
simultaneously returning cash to shareholders. We will continue
to use excess cash flow to pay off debt, fund potential
acquisitions or other growth opportunities and execute our
previously announced stock and warrant repurchase program. We
believe this dividend, combined with our stock and warrant
repurchase program, demonstrates the ongoing strength and
stability of our company without compromising our strategy of
pursuing profitable growth by making Chiquita a more consumer-
and marketing-centric organization."

While Chiquita intends to pay regular quarterly dividends for
the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be
reviewed quarterly and declared by the board at its discretion.

CONTACT: Mr. Michael Mitchell
         Phone: 513-784-8959
         e-mail: mmitchell@chiquita.com
  
         Web Site: www.chiquita.com



===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

* COLOMBIA: Receives Loans Totaling $35M Worth From IDB
-------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank approved Wednesday two loans
to Colombia for a total of $35 million to support a program to
help low-income rural families obtain better housing and to help
strengthen institutional mechanisms that will improve the
climate for private participation in infrastructure development.

Rural Housing

An IDB loan of $30 million will help finance a system of
subsidies that will enable 17,000 rural families to either
improve their home, build a new house on property they own or
buy a new home.

Subsidies will be provided for up to $1,400 for home
improvement, $1,900 for building a home on a lot owned by the
beneficiary and $2,000 for buying a home.

The beneficiary will finance at least 10 percent of the cost of
a home from their own resources, while nongovernmental
organizations, municipalities and other agencies active in
supporting low-income housing will finance 20 percent of the
cost. The total cost of the homes will not exceed 50 minimum
wages, or about $6,750.

In addition to financing, the Bank, beginning with the
preparation of the program, is providing technical assistance.
It is helping national authorities establish an information
system for administering the subsidy and design and implement a
system for follow-up and monitoring, thereby improving overall
rural housing subsidy mechanisms.

The program reflects the IDB strategy for Colombia of supporting
programs to reduce poverty and modernize public management.

The loan is for a 25-year term, with a four-year grace period,
at a variable annual interest rate. Local counterpart funds
total $9,830,000.

The project will be carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development.

In October of 2003 the Bank approved a $150 million loan to
Colombia to help finance and improve its program of urban
housing subsidies for low-income homeowners.

Private Participation In Infrastructure

A $5 million IDB loan will help strengthen institutional
mechanisms that will improve the climate for private
participation in infrastructure development.

The resources will finance advisory services to identify ways to
strengthen policy-making, regulatory and supervisory functions
for infrastructure services, thereby enhancing the investment
climate.

The program will also finance advisory services to design
specific private participation projects for the rehabilitation,
upgrading, construction, operation and maintenance of
infrastructure services, especially in the transportation,
power, communications and water and sanitation sectors. The
project will be carried out by the National Planning Department.

The project is a sequel to a $12.5 million loan to Colombia in
1996 by the IDB and an equal amount of financing by the World
Bank that supported a program of privatizations and concessions
in infrastructure. The project contributes to the implementation
of the IDB strategy for Colombia by supporting efforts to
improve competitiveness, economic growth, reforms and
modernization of the state.

The current IDB loan is for a 20-year term, with a four-year
grace period, at a variable interest rate. Local counterpart
funds total $2.15 million.



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

ICE: Seeks Aresep's Approval to Hike Rates By March 2005
--------------------------------------------------------
Costa Rica's state-run telecoms monopoly ICE is seeking
authorization from the public service regulator Aresep to hike
rates by nearly 24% as of March 1, 2005, reports Business News
Americas.

The planned rates hike - 23.5% for industrial rates and 23.76%
for residential users - is part of ICE's goal to generate CRC37
billion (US$81.3mn), which are needed to cover investment,
operations, maintenance and fuel purchasing costs, said ICE
tariff director Francisco Garro.

Simultaneously, ICE is also seeking authorization from Aresep to
raise rates for power sold to other companies by 19.9%.

Meanwhile, ICE mobile division head Orlando Cascante revealed
that ICE boosted its mobile client base to 960,000 this week
with a flash sale of 17,000 GSM lines confiscated from non-
paying customers.

The client base consists of 400,000 GSM users and 560,000 TDMA
users and ICE has 38,000 TDMA lines available for sale. The GSM
lines are more attractive because they allow a greater variety
of services and ICE sold these last 17,000 lines in 36 hours.
Cascante expects the remaining TDMA lines to be sold out during
January.



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

HYLSAMEX: EDC Agreements to Boost Exports
-----------------------------------------     
Export Development Canada (EDC) has concluded two financial
agreements with manufacturing giant Hylsamex that will
facilitate USD 20 million in Canadian export sales to Mexico.  

"EDC is committed to working with important Mexican companies
like Hylsamex to build on Canada's trade relationship with
Mexico," said Gilles Ross, Acting President of EDC. "By
structuring and delivering the necessary financing and
insurance, EDC helps businesses in both our countries identify
opportunities and close deals that are mutually beneficial."

"Hylsamex is honoured to have EDC as an important participant
in our recent loan syndications.  EDC's participation attests to
our long-time relationship and mutual business interests," said
Alejandro Elizondo, CEO of Hylsamex.

Credit facilities to two of Hylsamex's main operating
subsidiaries, Hylsa and Galvak, will benefit Canadian exporters
in the steel and industrial equipment sectors.  

EDC increased its collaboration with Galvak, a steel galvanizing
and painting company, by taking a USD 10 million position in a
new USD 175 million credit facility.  EDC will also provide USD
10 million in a USD 160 million syndicated loan for steel
manufacturer Hylsa.  These credit facilities will enable Galvak
and Hylsa to purchase Canadian capital goods and services for
their Mexican operations.

Since EDC established permanent representation in Mexico City in
April 2000, and in Monterrey in 2002, business volume with
Mexico has grown from CAD 1.2 billion in 1999 to CAD 2.45
billion in 2003.

Hylsamex is a vertically-integrated steel producer and
processor, using proprietary technology for the direct reduction
of iron.  The company has an extensive manufacturing and
distribution network in North America.

EDC provides trade finance and risk management services to
Canadian exporters and investors in up to 200 markets. Founded
in 1944, EDC is a Crown corporation that operates on commercial
principles.

MEDIA CONTACT: Glen Nichols
               EDC-Public Affairs
               Tel: (613) 598-2876
               glnichols@edc.ca

  

=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================

COURTS TRINIDAD: Dodges Parent Company's Troubles
-------------------------------------------------
Courts Trinidad Limited will continue with its normal operations
even after its parent company Courts PLC entered into
administration in the UK, Courts Trinidad managing director
Thomas Pantin said Tuesday.

"The administrators have made their positions extremely clear in
writing. Their intention is to leave overseas operations which
currently are profitable."

"They [administrators] want to leave us open for the benefit of
the Group. The issue is to address the unprofitable side of the
business, which Courts UK has been for some time," he added.

Questioned as to whether there is the chance that Courts
branches in the Caribbean could become independent entities, Mr.
Pantin said: "The administrator will have to look at all the
options available to them. Separating the Caribbean from the
rest is open to them."



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

PDVSA: Plans to Increase Refining Capacity  
------------------------------------------
State-owned oil Company PDVSA plans to increase its oil refining
capacity by 1.2 bpd, reports Petroleumworld News. The upgrade,
which will include the construction of a new plant, is a step
towards doubling the Company's oil production to 5 million
barrels by 2009.

Hydrocarbons vice minister Luis Vierma says that the investments
will also better equip the Company to increase production
conversion into products rather than ship them as crude.




                            ***********


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 * * *