TCRLA_Public/041216.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Thursday, December 16, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 249

                           Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Union Threatens Full Strike
COIMPO S.A.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
GEN SERVICIOS: Court Approves Involuntary Bankruptcy Plea
KLEINBORT CASA: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
MEDICINE OF THE WORLD: Court Allows Reorganization

MODESTO ALVAREZ: Bankruptcy Process Begins By Court Order
MOTORS REPAIRS: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling
NOVEL TIME S.A.: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Tasselli Details Company's Situation
POHUAC S.A.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call

TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: To Place ARS250 Mln Bonds
WOOLYN S.A.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
YARIKA S.A.: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings


B A R B A D O S

COURTS: British Parent's Financial Situation Puts Merger at Risk


B E R M U D A

LINES OVERSEAS: Court Reserves Judgment on Subpoenas


B R A Z I L

ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: To Trade Shares at Level 2 in Bovespa  
TRANSBRASIL: Efromovich in Advanced Talks to Buy Airline
VARIG: Court Orders Government to Make BRL2 Bln Payment
VARIG: Small Airline Eyeing Stake
VASP: Airline Fading From Market


E L   S A L V A D O R

BANCO DE COMERCIO: Fitch Places Bank on Rating Watch Positive


M E X I C O

CINTRA: Announces New Appointments
MEXICANA: Starting Non-Stop Las Vegas/Los Cabos Service
TV AZTECA: Distributes $130M in Cash to Shareholders


P E R U

* S&P Rates Republic of Peru PNS166.5 Million Bonds 'BB+'

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -                          


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A R G E N T I N A
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AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Union Threatens Full Strike
---------------------------------------------
About 80% of Argentine water concessionaire Aguas Argentinas'
3,600-workforce staged a partial work stoppage Tuesday demanding
a salary hike, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

According to a Company spokesman, sanitation employees under the
union umbrella Sgbatos (as known by its Spanish acronym) worked
reduced shifts Tuesday, forcing Aguas Argentinas to close
commercial offices nationwide and attend only emergency service
calls.

Union officials threatened to go on a full strike Wednesday to
march toward Aguas Argentinas headquarters in protest.

Aguas, whose principal shareholder is France's Suez group, won
its 30-year operating concession in 1993 and provides water to
11.5 million residents and sewerage service to 7.5 million
residents in greater Buenos Aires.


COIMPO S.A.: Court Favors Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition
--------------------------------------------------------
Obra Social de Despachantes de Aduana successfully sought the
bankruptcy of Coimpo S.A. after Judge Carrega, working for Court
No. 4 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal, declared
the Company "Quiebra," reports La Nacion.

As such, the Company will now start the bankruptcy process with
Mr. Mario Leizerow as trustee. Creditors of the Company must
submit proofs of their claims to the trustee before March 3,
2005 for authentication. Failure to do so will mean
disqualification from the payments that will be made after the
Company's assets are liquidated.

The creditor requested the Company's bankruptcy after the latter
failed to pay debts amounting to US$76,647.56. Dr. Anta, the
city's Clerk No. 8, assists the Court on the case that will
culminate in the liquidation of its assets.

CONTACT: Coimpo S.A.
         Venezuela 110
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Mario Leizerow, Trustee
         Avenida Corrientes 1250
         Buenos Aires


GEN SERVICIOS: Court Approves Involuntary Bankruptcy Plea
---------------------------------------------------------
Judge Santachitta of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial Court
No. 18 declared Gen. Servicios Medicos S.A. bankrupt, says La
Nacion. The ruling comes in approval of the bankruptcy petition
filed by the Company's creditor, Mr. Miguel Larroque.

Court-appointed trustee, Mr. Walter Callejas, will examine and
authenticate creditors' claims until February 11, 2005. 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. Estevarena, the city's Clerk No. 35, assists the Court on
the case that will conclude with the liquidation of the
Company's assets.

CONTACT: Gen Servicios Medicos S.A.
         Uriburu 748
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Walter Callejas, Trustee
         Lambard 1140.
         Buenos Aires  


KLEINBORT CASA: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
-----------------------------------------------
Judge Gonzalez, serving for Court No. 8 of Buenos Aires' civil
and commercial tribunal, declared local Company Kleinbort Casa
La Central S.A. "Quiebra", relates La Nacion. The Court approved
the bankruptcy petition filed by Adrem Corporacion Industrial
S.A., whom the Company has debts amounting to US$ $ 72,269.08.

The Company will undergo the bankruptcy process with Mr. Ricardo
Sukiassian as trustee. Creditors are required to present their
proofs of claims to the trustee for verification before March 3
next year. 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. Lezaeta, the city's Clerk No. 15, assists the Court on the
case.

CONTACT: Kleinbort Casa La Central S.A.
         Avenida Warnes 1396
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Ricardo Sukiassian, Trustee
         San Martin 1009
         Buenos Aires     


MEDICINE OF THE WORLD: Court Allows Reorganization
--------------------------------------------------
Local medical services provider Medicine Of The World S.A.
successfully petitioned for reorganization after Court No. 18 of
Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal approved its
"concurso preventivo" motion, reports Infobae.

Reorganization will allow the Company to draft a settlement plan
with its creditors in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

The city's Clerk No. 36 assists the Court with the proceedings.

CONTACT: Medicine Of The World S.A.
         Paraguay 3842
         Buenos Aires  
   

MODESTO ALVAREZ: Bankruptcy Process Begins By Court Order
---------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 22 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Modesto Alvarez S.R.L. "Quiebra," reports Infobae. The
declaration signals the Company to proceed with the bankruptcy
process that will close with the liquidation of its assets.

The Court, assisted by Clerk No. 43, appointed Ms. Ana Maria
Calzada Percivale, as trustee who will authenticate proofs of
claim until November 2, 2005.

Next, the trustee will prepare the individual reports based on
the results of the authentication and then submit these reports
in Court on March 29, 2005. After these results are processed in
Court, the trustee will then submit the general report on May
10, 2005.

CONTACT: Ms. Ana Maria Calzada Percivale, Trustee
         Avda San Martin 2805
         Buenos Aires


MOTORS REPAIRS: Court Issues Bankruptcy Ruling
----------------------------------------------
Motors Repairs S.A. will now enter bankruptcy after Court No. 11
of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal declared it
"Quiebra," reports Infobae.

With assistance from Clerk No. 22, the Court named Mr. Carlos
Eduardo Foresti as Trustee. He will verify creditors' claims
until February 2, 2005.

Following claims verification, the trustee will submit the
individual reports, which were prepared based on the
verification results, in Court on March 24, 2005. The general
report is due for submission on May 9, 2005.

The Company's bankruptcy case will close with the liquidation of
its assets to pay its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Carlos Eduardo Foresti, Trustee
         Avda Callao 449
         Buenos Aires


NOVEL TIME S.A.: Debt Payments Halted, Set To Reorganize
--------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 11 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal is
now analyzing whether to grant Novel Time S.A. approval for its
petition to reorganize. Infobae recalls that the Company filed a
"Concurso Preventivo" petition after defaulting on its debt
obligations.

The city's Clerk No. 22 assists the Court on this case.

CONTACT: Novel Time S.A.
         Honduras 3743
         Buenos Aires


PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Tasselli Details Company's Situation
--------------------------------------------------------
During a recent interview with local business daily Infobae,
Argentine businessman Sergio Tasselli, who agreed to acquire the
local unit of Italian dairy giant Parmalat, said that the
Company has been losing ARS4 million a month for the past year
and owes around ARS20 million to suppliers.

Tasselli said that the Italian government is taking too much
time to approve his offer and that if the Company is not handed
to him before the end of the year, there will be nothing left.

When asked about his plans for Parmalat Argentina, the
businessman said the first task is to take charge of the
company, see how best to organize it and develop a plan to help
it regain strength, as it's getting worse and worse.

As to the possibility of a partnership, Tasselli said he is in
talks with three or four potential investors that are interested
in the dairy business.


POHUAC S.A.: Court OKs Creditor's Bankruptcy Call
-------------------------------------------------
Pohuac S.A. entered bankruptcy after Judge Cirulli, working for
Court No. 6 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
approved a bankruptcy motion filed by Mr. Carlos Encina, reports
La Nacion. The Company's failure to pay US$ 99,922.18 in debt
prompted the liquidation plea.

Working with Dr. Davila, the city's Clerk No. 12, the Court
assigned Mr. Norberto Markel 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 April 13,2005.

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: Pohuac S.A.
         Bazurco 2661
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Norberto Markel, Trustee
         Tucuman 1657
         Buenos Aires


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: To Place ARS250 Mln Bonds
--------------------------------------------------
Telefonica de Argentina (TAR) will sell up to ARS250 million
($1=ARS2.9725) in bonds, the local unit of Spanish Company
Telefonica SA (TEF) said Tuesday without giving a date for the
sale.

The upcoming placement will mark the third issuance under an
ARS1.5 billion program approved last year. So far, Telefonica de
Argentina has sold ARS163 million in one-year, zero-coupon notes
and issued another ARS200 million in short-term debt in October.

Meanwhile, Telefonica de Argentina announced the appointment of
Juan Waehner as new general manager for the South American
country.

Waehner replaces Guillermo Ansaldo, who had been Telefonica de
Argentina's general manager for nearly five years. Ansaldo has
been promoted to Telefonica Internacional SA as general director
for regional planning, regulation and corporate development.

As a result of the management reshuffle, Ansaldo and another
official, Juan Ignacio Lopez, have taken full seats on
Telefonica de Argentina's board of directors, the Company said
in a filing to the local stock exchange. The two men, who were
previously alternates, took the place of Eduardo Caride and
Antonio Viana-Baptista. Waehner and two other men were elected
as new alternate members.

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


WOOLYN S.A.: Court Declares Company Bankrupt
--------------------------------------------
Woolyn S.A. entered bankruptcy on orders from the Court No. 14
of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal, reveals Infobae.

Working with Clerk No. 27, the Court assigned Ms. Fanny Izbizky
as trustee. She is to verify creditors' claims until March 14,
2005.

Creditors who fail to have their claims validated before the
deadline will be disqualified from receiving any payments to be
made after the Company's assets are liquidated.

The individual reports, which are due on April 25, 2005, are to
be prepared upon completion of the verification process. The
Court also requires the trustee to prepare a general report and
file it on June 7, 2005. This report contains a summary of the
results in the individual reports.

CONTACT: Ms. Fanny Izbizky, Trustee
         Avda Olazabal 4981
         Buenos Aires


YARIKA S.A.: Initiates Bankruptcy Proceedings
---------------------------------------------
Court No. 11 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared Yarika S.A. "Quiebra," reports Infobae.

Mr. Leonardo Schvarztein who has been appointed as trustee, will
verify creditors' claims until February 10, 2005 and then
prepare the individual reports based on the results of the
verification process.

The individual reports will be submitted in Court on March 24,
2005, followed by the general report on May 9, 2005.

The city's Clerk No. 22 assists the Court on the case that will
close with the liquidation of the Company's assets to repay
creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Leonardo Schvarztein, Trustee
         Uruguay 390
         Buenos Aires



===============
B A R B A D O S
===============

COURTS: British Parent's Financial Situation Puts Merger at Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plans by Courts stores in the Caribbean to merge their
operations have been thrown into doubt ever since UK-based
parent, Courts PLC, was placed in administration, Barbados Daily
Nation indicates.

Bruce Cohen Chairman of Courts Barbados told shareholders in the
2004 annual report that Courts Plc had desired a merger of sorts
of the Caribbean operations under a regional holding company
that would then be listed on stock exchanges throughout the
region.

There were reported plans for a Trinidad and Tobago
headquartered Company for the Courts stores operated in 11
Caribbean territories.

However, recent developments involving the suspension of Courts
Plc's British shares from the London Stock Exchange and the
installation of accounting firm KPMG to administer the Company
after it failed in talks to secure waivers from creditors on its
BDS1.075 billion debt have placed the planned "merger" in doubt.

Courts stores in the Caribbean are moving ahead with the planned
merger but there is uncertainty whether KPMG would approve the
plan at this stage.



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B E R M U D A
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LINES OVERSEAS: Court Reserves Judgment on Subpoenas
----------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Judge Alan Kay of the US District Court for the
District of Columbia reserved judgment on whether the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission will be able to enforce four
subpoenas against Lines Overseas Management and Scott Lines,
according to a Royal Gazette report.

The SEC is investigating alleged securities fraud involving
Sedona Software Solutions Inc. and SHEP Technologies Inc., both
of Vancouver, Canada, and HiEnergy Technologies Inc., of Irvine,
California.

The regulator said it has asked LOM to provide information such
as account statements relating to trades in the shares of these
companies, but the Bermuda-based firm has refused on grounds
that it is restricted by confidentiality laws.

Last Friday's hearing was scheduled to allow LOM and its
managing director Scott Lines the opportunity to show cause as
to why they should not be ordered to comply with the
investigative subpoenas that SEC staff personally served on Mr.
Lines in Miami International Airport on April 20, 2004.

Mr. Lines' counsel said in Court documents that the SEC made
"numerous additional allegations against Scott Lines" in its
reply memorandum and submitted "over 3 inches of documents
purportedly in support of these allegations". Counsel said Mr.
Lines needed time to review and digest the documents and new
information in the SEC's allegations.

During Friday's two-hour hearing: "LOM's counsel set forth
arguments as to why the subpoenas should not be enforced, and
advised that the proceedings are improper because there are
existing, legal mechanisms for the SEC to request any remaining
information it is seeking. It should be noted that this is a
civil matter only, and that no charges have been filed in
connection with the investigation."

Magistrate Judge Kay has reserved his decision on the matter.
However, the SEC has already said that it is committed to
pursuing its investigation no matter what the decision.



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ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: To Trade Shares at Level 2 in Bovespa  
----------------------------------------------------------------
Power distributor Eletropaulo Metropolitana moves closer to
meeting the loan requirements for national development bank
BNDES's US$1.2 billion bailout program after raising its shares
to Level 2 at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange (BOVESPA). BNDES is
expected to approve a new US$279 million loan for the Company in
2005.

Business News Americas reports that the re-classification will
mean stricter reporting requirements for the Company. Bovespa
requires companies trading Level 2 shares to create a fiscal
advisory board, offer tag-along options for minority
shareholders and maintain a free float of at least 25 percent of
total capital in three years. Eletropaulo's free float currently
stands at 18%.

Eletropaulo is jointly owned by AES Corporation, with a 51
percent stake, BNDES, which owns the remaining 49 percent.

CONTACT:  ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA
          Avenida Alfredo Egidio de Souza Aranha 100-B,
          13 andar 04726-270 San Paulo
          Brazil
          Phone: +55-11-548-9461, +55 11 5696 3595
          Fax: +55-11-546-1933
          URL: http://www.eletropaulo.com.br
          Contacts:
          Luiz D. Travesso, Chairman and President
          Orestes Gonzalves Jr., VP Finance/Investor Relations


TRANSBRASIL: Efromovich in Advanced Talks to Buy Airline
--------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian businessman German Efromovich, who recently purchased
bankrupt Colombian airline Avianca via Synergy Group, is now in
"advanced" talks to buy bankrupt Brazilian airline Transbrasil,
which has two Boeing 767 aircraft, reports Reuters.

"The idea is to get Transbrasil flying again as an international
cargo Company," Efromovich said, adding, "We are going to lease
more aircraft which will be specifically for cargo."

Transbrasil went out of business as an economic downturn hit
demand and depreciation of Brazil's currency magnified the cost
of dollar-denominated debt, aircraft leasing and fuel.

Efromovich said buying Transbrasil would mean the government
would benefit from tax payments, new jobs and more exports,
while Transbrasil staff would receive overdue pay.

"It's a win-win deal for everyone," he said.

Efromovich owns OceanAir, an air-taxi Company that serves
Brazil's oil industry, and also operates regional routes serving
more than 30 cities.


VARIG: Court Orders Government to Make BRL2 Bln Payment
-------------------------------------------------------
A Brazilian Court on Tuesday ordered the government to pay BRL2
billion (US$723 million) in compensation to financially strapped
Varig airlines for losses the carrier incurred due to a 1984-
1992 freeze on airfares.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, the judgment was handed down
by a five-member Federal Appeals Court.

A spokesman for the federal government said the administration
of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will appeal the
decision to the Brazilian Supreme Court, which is expected to
issue a final ruling next year.

If Varig wins the case, the BRL2 billion payment would help ease
part of the airline's crippling debt load, which totaled BRL6.5
billion at the end of September.

Varig has been driven to the brink of collapse in recent years
after economic downturns hit demand and depreciation of Brazil's
currency magnified its dollar debt, fuel, and parts costs in
local terms.

The airline has managed to stay in business thanks in part to
the flexible attitude of creditors in the public sector such as
airport authority Infraero and oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro
(Petrobras).

Varig has also managed to save costs by cutting its fleet and
sharing routes with rival TAM, although the government's
antitrust body has studied whether it breaks competition rules.

The two airlines have abandoned an earlier plan to study a full-
blown merger of their operations.

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


VARIG: Small Airline Eyeing Stake
---------------------------------
Euro Atlantic, a small airline owned by Portuguese tourism
Company Grupo Pestana, is in talks with Brazil's state
development bank BNDES to buy a 20% stake in Brazilian flagship
airline Varig, reports Luchtzak Aviation.

Tomaz Metello, president of the Euro Atlantic charter airline,
said he had given BNDES a proposal under which Euro Atlantic
would be in charge of running Varig. Metello, however, didn't
mention any amount involved in the proposal.

"We are waiting for a position from the Brazilian government and
a response from the BNDES. We already looked at Varig's numbers.
Afterward there could be an audit," Metello said.

The Brazilian government has been studying ways in which it
could rescue Varig.

Euro Atlantic already has a partnership with Varig connecting
flights from Brazil's northeastern coast to European
destinations.


VASP: Airline Fading From Market
--------------------------------
Financially troubled Brazilian airline Vasp has dramatically
lost market share and is fading from the scene, according to the
monthly report released recently by Brazil's Civil Aviation
Department, or DAC.

All three of Vasp's main rivals gained at the stricken airline's
expense, the report showed.

Vasp's market share fell to 1.39% in November compared with
11.2% in November 2003.

The Company has been experiencing financial difficulties since
the 2001 recession that hit the industry. Vasp has vowed to
present a comprehensive debt payment plan before the end of the
year.

The airline's debts include BRL760 million (US$1=BRL2.77) owed
to the Federal Airport Authority, known as Infraero, for airport
charges not paid since the 1990s.

Currently, Vasp is operating on a six-month emergency license
granted by the federal government pending presentation of the
comprehensive plan.

The DAC report showed Brazil's three other main airlines gaining
at Vasp's expense: TAM SA's market share rose to 39.2% in
November compared with 34.8% in November 2003; Gol Linhas Aereas
Inteligentes SA increased its share to 23.9% compared with 19% a
year ago, while Varig lifted its share to 33.4% compared with
32.7% seen in the previous November.



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E L   S A L V A D O R
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BANCO DE COMERCIO: Fitch Places Bank on Rating Watch Positive
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, has placed Banco
de Comercio's (BanCo) 'BB' long-term foreign currency rating on
Rating Watch Positive. Also, the Rating Outlook for BanCo's and
Scotiabank El Salvador's National long-term ratings of 'AA-
slv)' has been revised to Positive(local Salvadorian regulations
do not allow for the use of Rating Watch on National ratings).
Fitch also affirms the following BanCo ratings:

--Short-term foreign currency 'B';

--Individual 'D';

--Support '5'.

This action reflects the acquisition by Canada's Bank of Nova
Scotia (BNS, rated 'AA-' by Fitch) of a 98% stake in BanCo.

On Oct. 22, 2004, BNS and BanCo announced the signing of a
Memorandum of Understanding that is expected to lead to the
merger of Scotiabank El Salvador and BanCo. Subsequently, on
Nov. 23, 2004, BNS announced its Public Tender Offer for at
least 68% of BanCo's shares, with the offer to expire on Dec. 3,
2004. As a result of the offer, BNS was able to acquire 98% of
BanCo's shares in the local stock exchange on Dec. 13, 2004. As
per local regulations that prohibit a single shareholder from
owning two banks, the final settlement of the transaction
(around $180 million) will be carried out in March 2005,
following the merger of Scotiabank El Salvador and BanCo. This
merger is expected to create the fourth largest bank in the
country (around 15% asset market share) while reducing the
significant gap in terms of size with the three dominant banks
in the market.

BNS has had a presence in El Salvador, through Scotiabank El
Salvador, since 1997, offering a range of services to corporates
and individuals, although its main focus is the consumer and
mortgage market. The conclusion of this transaction represents a
substantial increase in BNS's commitment to El Salvador; as a
result, the support rating that would be assigned to the merged
entity will reflect such commitment.

The ownership by a highly rated bank, with significant financial
resources, strong commitment, and a broad experience in Latin
America will enhance BanCo's prospects. Also, a possible merger
between Scotiabank El Salvador and BanCo would significantly
increase BNS's market share in El Salvador, narrowing the
difference with the three largest banks in the country.
Complementary markets and clients should widen the bank's
diversification, while economies of scale can be expected from
the merged entity. Fitch views positively the increase of
foreign participation in the Salvadorian financial system as a
tool to foster market sophistication and competition. The
support provided by a highly rated international financial
entity also benefits the financial system's profile.

Established in 1949, BanCo is the fourth-largest bank in the
Salvadorian financial system, with a 12% asset market share at
end-September 2004. BanCo has traditionally served the corporate
market although in recent years it has expanded into consumer
and mortgage lending. The bank manages some subsidiaries
involved in securities brokerage, credit card administration,
factoring and leasing, and remittances.

BNS is the third largest of the five dominant Canadian banks and
has one of the largest market capitalizations among publicly
traded Canadian companies. Offering a full range of financial
services to Canadian customers through about 1,000 branches and
2,200 ATMs, BNS is the most internationally diverse of the major
Canadian Banks, operating in about 50 countries through over 700
international offices, including a longstanding indigenous
retail banking presence in the Caribbean and in Central American
countries.

CONTACT:  Larisa Arteaga +503-263-1300, San Salvador
          Franklin Santarelli +58-212 286-3232, Caracas
          Gustavo Lopez +1-212-908-0853, New York

LONDON RATINGS DESK: +44 (0)20 7417 6300

MEDIA RELATIONS: Kenneth Reed +1-212-908-0540, New York



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M E X I C O
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CINTRA: Announces New Appointments
----------------------------------
Cintra's shareholders announce these changes to their executive
management team:

1) Dr. Andres Conesa will be proposed as Chairman by the Board
of Directors, which will be held on December 15, 2004, replacing
Dr Rogelio Gasca Neri, who currently holds this position.

2) Dr. Rogelio Gasca will be appointed CEO of Aeromexico,
replacing Mr. Fernando Flores.

3) Mr. Fernando Flores retires after having completed a
successful cycle within Mexicana and Aeromexico.

4) Mr. Emilio Romano will head the new Economic Entity, which is
to be formed in the near future.

The main objective of these changes is to move forward on the
conditions imposed by the CFC (Mexico's Antitrust Commission
Agency) and announced last October 25 in relation to the
concentration of Aeromexico and Mexicana into one Economic
Entity in order to achieve their sale to independent investors.

The other Economic Entity will be permitted to increase
operations within Mexico, so better and more effective
competition is created in the Mexican market.

Dr Conesa is recognized by the Mexican Financial Community given
his vast experience of more than ten years occupying several
positions within Mexico's Secretary of Finance, where he held
the positions of Head of the Public Credit Entity, General Vice
- President of Financial Planning and General Vice President of
International Financial Affaire and Public Credit. He also acted
as a member of the Board of Cintra and played a crucial role in
the actions that will permit the sale of Cintra in the near
future.


MEXICANA: Starting Non-Stop Las Vegas/Los Cabos Service
-------------------------------------------------------
Mexicana Airlines will start operating new non-stop service
between Las Vegas and Los Cabos, Mexico, on December 16, pending
U.S. Department of Transportation approval. Flights will operate
three times a week with convenient schedules using modern Airbus
A319 in a two-class configuration and offering Mexicana's
signature in-flight service.

This new non-stop route illustrates the success of Mexicana in
Las Vegas by adding Los Cabos to its two existing destinations,
Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Mexicana Airlines is aware of the rapid growth of Las Vegas and
the large need of vacation destinations for the local residents
and international tourists who look for an upscale beach
destination. "This new service not only responds to the demand
of the local leisure market but provides them service which
extends their stay due to the convenient schedule," said Jorge
Goytortua, Regional Vice President of Sales of the West Coast of
US and Canada.

"This new route will be serviced with an Airbus 319, with 12
seats in executive class and 108 seats in coach. This brand new
aircraft is part of Mexicana's fleet who is recognized as one of
the youngest and most modern fleet in the world, operating three
times a week," said Goytortua.

Flights will leave Las Vegas, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays at 9:20 a.m. and will arrive in Los Cabos at 12:55
p.m. Return flights will leave Los Cabos on Mondays, Wednesdays
and Fridays at 3:55 p.m. and will arrive Las Vegas at 5:30 p.m.
The flight time will be 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Mexicana Airlines plans to offer a complete range of vacation
packages to Los Cabos through its all-inclusive Vacation Travel
Plan (VTP), which includes airfare, hotel accommodations, and
airport transfers, bringing together the best of Mexico's spots
and resorts. Also, for customers planning to spend time fishing
or practicing golf, Mexicana offers savings up to $110 dollars
in fees when transporting your golf bag or fishing equipment on
our Las Vegas -- Los Cabos route. Mexicana is the only airline
offering this service free of charge.

Customers traveling on Mexicana can benefit from coordinated
flight schedules to a vast route network and entire range of
services, including those of the Frecuenta frequent flyer
program and the Executive Lounges. Additionally, Mexicana
through its code share agreements continues to affiliate itself
with the most important carriers in the globe such as: American
Airlines, Air Canada, Iberia, Lufthansa, Varig and others.

Mexicana Airlines is the leading international carrier of
Mexico. Its fleet is amongst the most modern in the world,
servicing 52 destinations in North, Central and South America
and the Caribbean.


TV AZTECA: Distributes $130M in Cash to Shareholders
----------------------------------------------------
TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: TZA - News; BMV: TVAZTCA)
(Latibex: XTZA), one of the two largest producers of Spanish-
language television programming in the world, announced that it
made Tuesday a US$130 million cash distribution to shareholders,
equivalent to US$0.04 per CPO, or US$0.70 per ADR. The
distribution was approved by TV Azteca shareholders on November
24, as previously announced.

The Company noted Tuesday's cash distribution is part of its
ongoing plan to allocate a substantial portion of TV Azteca's
cash generation to make distributions to shareholders of over
US$500 million, and to reduce the Company's debt by
approximately US$250 million within a six-year period that
started in June 2003.

The distributions under the cash-usage plan made to date
represent an aggregate amount of US$325 million, equivalent to
an 18% yield on the December 13, 2004, ADR closing price. Prior
distributions include: US$125 million on June 30, 2003, US$15
million on December 5, 2003, US$33 million on May 13, 2004 and
US$22 million on November 11, 2004.

As previously detailed, the Company's board of directors has
unanimously approved additional cash distributions of US$80
million to be made during 2005, confirming the board's support
of the Company's strategic cash plan. The resolution will be
submitted to TV Azteca shareholders for approval early next
year.

Within the cash plan, TV Azteca has also reduced its total debt
by US$82 million, on a nominal U.S. dollar basis, since June
2003. "The advances on the cash plan further strengthen our
overall capital structure, reduce financial expense and
contribute to increased free cash generation, while distributing
to shareholders the benefits of our solid profitability," said
Carlos Hesles, Chief Financial Officer of TV Azteca.

Company Profile

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



=======
P E R U
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* S&P Rates Republic of Peru PNS166.5 Million Bonds 'BB+'
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB+' long-term
local currency debt rating to four bonds, totaling Peruvian new
soles (PNS) 166.5 million (US$50.8 million), issued on December
6 and 7, 2004, by the government of the Republic of Peru
(foreign currency ratings BB/Stable/B; local currency ratings
BB+/Stable/B) in its domestic market. These newly rated bonds
carry coupon rates of 7.2% (with a term of two-and-one-half
years), 12.25% (seven years), 5.8% (10 years) and 7.4% (15
years); the last two bonds are indexed to inflation.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services also assigned its 'BB+'
rating to other PNS-denominated domestic bonds issued by the
Peruvian government in its own market since January and totaling
an additional PNS1.7 billion (US$ 530 million).

According to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services credit analyst
Sebastian Briozzo, the ratings on Peru take into account the
recent strengthening of the country's economic fundamentals and
the expectation that prudent macroeconomic policies will be
sustained in the future, despite the ongoing problems in Peru's
political environment.

"The continuation of the current fiscal consolidation strategy
is essential to providing flexibility to an economy that is
highly influenced by commodities prices, that continues to be
constrained by high external indebtedness and an only limited
margin for implementing monetary policy, and that is
characterized by significant social needs," Mr. Briozzo said.

Standard & Poor's said that the increasing reliance on debt
denominated in local currency is a key aspect in mitigating
Peru's still-high external vulnerability, together with
decreasing financing needs derived from lower fiscal deficits
and rapidly growing exports. Peru's net external public-sector
debt is expected to be a high 108% of the country's current
account receipts in 2004. In this regard, a high level of
international reserves also reduces the country's economic
vulnerability to external shocks over the short term.

Peru's creditworthiness continues to be limited by a weak
political environment consistent with a 'BB' foreign currency
rating. Relatively high economic growth rates since 2002,
averaging 4.5%, have not improved the political and social
climate in Peru. "Despite relatively strong growth prospects
over the medium term, the need to make this growth pattern
sustainable and job-creating will continue to challenge Peruvian
governments," Mr. Briozzo concluded.

Primary Credit Analyst: Sebastian Briozzo, New York
212-438-7342; sebastian_briozzo@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst(s): Richard Francis, New York
(1)-212-438-7348; richard_francis@standardandpoors.com

Jane Eddy, New York (1) 212-438-7996;
jane_eddy@standardandpoors.com




                            ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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