TCRLA_Public/050825.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, August 25, 2005, Vol. 6, Issue 168

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BASTIANELLI S.R.L.: Individual Reports' Submission Due Aug. 26
BERSA: Nuevo Banco Completes Acquisition
CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Reports Solid 2Q05 Operating Income Growth
LA PANADERIA: Individual Claims to be Presented Aug. 26
MS MONTAJES: Trustee to Submit General Report Aug. 26

SEVEN SEAS: Deadline for General Report Submission Approaches
TELECOM ARGENTINA: To Close Debt Restructuring Aug. 31


B R A Z I L

BANCO VOTORANTIM: To Get a Shot in the Arm From Parent
TCP: Board Approves Vice President's Replacement
VARIG: Seeks Court OK to Sell VarigLog to US-based Equity Firm


C O L O M B I A

ECOPETROL: Seven Wells Expected to Churn Out Hydrocarbons
TELECOM: EPM, ETB Seek Alliance With TEM to Counter Telmex's Bid


E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: 'CCC+' Long-Term Credit Rating Placed on Watch Neg.


J A M A I C A

* JAMAICA: Rating, Outlook Supported By Fiscal Consolidation


M E X I C O

GRUPO GIGANTE: Refinances Debt With Inbursa Loan
GRUPO MEXICO: Strike Threat Still On Despite Progress in Talks
HYLSAMEX: Board Appoints New Officers
SATMEX: SCT to Name Case Supervisor This Week
SICARTSA: Enormous Losses From Strike May Prompt Plant's Closure

UNITED RENTALS: Soliciting Securities Holders' Consent


U R U G U A Y

URAGUA: Blocking OSE's Efforts to Transfer Services


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Partnership With Petrobras Firmed

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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

BASTIANELLI S.R.L.: Individual Reports' Submission Due Aug. 26
--------------------------------------------------------------
The individual reports of the Bastianelli S.R.L. liquidation
will be submitted tomorrow, Aug. 26, 2005. These reports are
based on the verified claims submitted by the Company's
creditors. The verification phase lasted until July 1, 2005. The
general report is expected in court on Sep. 30, 2005.

Court No. 24 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
ordered the liquidation of Bastianelli S.R.L. after the company
defaulted on its debt obligations. The liquidation pronouncement
effectively placed the Company's affairs as well as its assets
under the control of Ms. Aida Israelson, the court-appointed
trustee.

Clerk No. 47 assists the court on this case that will end with
the disposal of the company's assets in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: Ms. Aida Israelson, Trustee
         Lavalle 1672
         Buenos Aires


BERSA: Nuevo Banco Completes Acquisition
----------------------------------------
State-run Banco de la Nacion transferred on Tuesday control of
Banco de Entre Rios SA (BERSA) to its new owner, locally-owned
Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

BERSA was one of three former Credit Agricole holdings that
passed into state hands when the French company exited Argentina
in 2002 in the midst of an economic crisis. Banco Nacion took
over the banks for the purpose of selling them back to the
private sector at a later stage.

In tendering BERSA, Banco Nacion officials required that the
buyer pay back ARS18 million ($1=ARS2.91) that the state-owned
entity put into the unit. Bidders also had to detail planned
capital injections and a business plan that would keep current
bank staff in their positions for as long as possible.

Nuevo Banco agreed to capitalize (BERSA) with ARS142 million.

Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe is headquartered in Santa Fe province
and the local government holds a 6.61% stake in the company,
according to data from the Argentine central bank.


CLAXSON INTERACTIVE: Reports Solid 2Q05 Operating Income Growth
---------------------------------------------------------------
Claxson Interactive Group Inc. (OTCBB:XSONF) ("Claxson" or the
"Company"), announced Tuesday financial results for the three
and six-month periods ended June 30, 2005. . As previously
announced, the Company finalized the sale of its TV Broadcast
operation Chilevision on April 18. In addition, on May 6,
Claxson completed the sale of the language localization
operations of The Kitchen. In accordance with applicable
accounting principles, the assets, liabilities and operations of
Chilevision and the language localization operations of The
Kitchen are reflected as assets and liabilities held for sale in
the balance sheet and as discontinued operations in the
statement of operations of the Company until the time of their
sale.

Financial Highlights

Second Quarter 2005

Net revenue for the second quarter of 2005 was $19.1 million, a
23% increase from net revenue of $15.5 million for the second
quarter of 2004. Operating expense for the three months ended
June 30, 2005 was $15.4 million, a 23% increase from the $12.5
million for the second quarter of 2004. Operating income
increased to $3.7 million for the three-month period ended June
30, 2005 from $3.0 million for the three-month period ended June
30, 2004. Foreign currency exchange gain for the three-month
period ended June 30, 2005 was $0.5 million, a total $1.8
million positive effect compared to the $1.3 million loss in the
same period of 2004. Net income from continuing operations for
the three months ended June 30, 2005 was $2.8 million ($0.14 per
basic and $0.13 per diluted share), compared to $1.3 million
($0.07 per basic and diluted share) for the same period in 2004.
Net income for the three months ended June 30, 2005 was $1.2
million ($0.06 per basic and $0.05 per diluted share), compared
to $2.3 million ($0.10 per basic and $0.11 per diluted share)
for the same period in 2004.

During the second quarter of 2005, the average exchange rate of
the Argentine and Chilean currencies compared to the U.S. dollar
remained unchanged and appreciated 8%, respectively, versus the
same period in 2004.

First Six Months of 2005

Net revenue for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005 was
$36.9 million, a 21% increase compared to $30.6 million for same
period in 2004. Operating expense for the six-month period ended
June 30, 2005 was $30.3 million, an 11% increase compared to
$27.3 million in the same period of 2004. Operating income was
$6.6 million for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005
compared to $3.3 million for the same period in 2004. Foreign
currency exchange gain for the six-month period ended June 30,
2005 was $1.1 million, a total $1.4 million positive effect
compared to the $0.3 million loss in the same period of 2004.
Net income from continuing operations for the six-month period
ended June 30, 2005 was $5.1 million ($0.25 per basic and $0.23
per diluted share), compared to $2.4 million ($0.12 per basic
and diluted share) for the same period in 2004. Net income for
the six-month period ended June 30, 2005 was $2.6 million ($0.13
per basic and $0.12 per diluted share), compared to $2.5 million
($0.13 per basic and $0.12 per diluted share) for the same
period in 2004.

During the six-month period ended June 30, 2005, the average
exchange rate of the Argentine and Chilean currencies compared
to the U.S. dollar remained unchanged and appreciated 5%,
respectively, versus the same period in 2004.

"We are very pleased with the overall results of the second
quarter and first six months of 2005. We have seen a consistent
growth in our consolidated net revenues which resulted in
significant improvements in operating income," said Roberto
Vivo, Chairman and CEO. "These results and the performance of
the management team make me confident that we are well prepared
to face the challenges ahead."

Pay TV

Net revenue for the second quarter of 2005 was $14.0 million, a
19% increase from net revenue of $11.8 million for the second
quarter of 2004. The increase in net revenue is principally
attributable to an increase in subscriber-based fees and
advertising. Net revenue for the six-month period ended June 30,
2005 was $26.3 million compared to $22.6 million for the same
period of 2004. The increase is primarily a result of increase
subscriber-based fees and advertising revenues.

Operating expense (excluding depreciation and amortization) for
the second quarter of 2005 was $10.0 million compared to $8.1
million for the same period in 2004. The increase is principally
attributable to increased programming and production costs as a
result of additional investment in programming, as well as
increased sales expenses related to the increase in revenues.
Operating expense for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005
was $19.1 million compared to $17.3 million for the same period
of 2004.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2005 was $3.5 million
compared to an operating income of $2.9 million for the same
period in 2004. Operating income for the six-month period ended
June 30, 2005 was $6.1 million compared to $3.8 million for the
same period of 2004.

As of June 30, 2005, the Company's owned basic and premium
channels reached 47.3 million aggregate subscribers, a 17%
growth compared to its subscriber base as of June 30, 2004. FTV
and Retro were the Company's owned channels that reported the
strongest growth.

Broadcast Radio

Net revenue for the second quarter of 2005 was $5.0 million, a
36% increase from net revenue of $3.7 million for the second
quarter of 2004. The increase is primarily attributable to
improved audience share in Chile as well as an 8% appreciation
in the Chilean peso as compared to 2004. Net revenue for the
six-month period ended June 30, 2005 was $10.4 million compared
to $7.9 million for the same period of 2004. This increase is
primarily a result of the increased audience share in Chile as
well as a general improvement of the operations of Sarandi in
Uruguay.

Operating expense (excluding depreciation and amortization) for
the second quarter of 2005 was $3.3 million compared to $2.5
million for the same period in 2004. The increase is due to the
appreciation of the Chilean peso, and the development of the new
businesses and increased sales and marketing expenses. Operating
expense for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005 was $6.7
million compared to $5.2 million for the same period of 2004. As
was the case in the second quarter, this increase is explained
by the appreciation of the Chilean Peso and the increase in
production and sales expenditures.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2005 was $1.3 million
compared to $0.9 million for the same period in 2004. Operating
income for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005 was $2.7
million compared to $2.0 million for the same period of 2004.

During the second quarter of 2005, Ibero American Radio Chile's
average audience share was 38%, compared to 35% for the same
period in 2004.

Broadband & Internet

Net revenue for the second quarters of both 2005 and 2004 was
$31,000. Net revenue for the six-month period ended June 30,
2005 was $60,000 compared to $57,000 for the same period of
2004.

Operating expense (excluding depreciation and amortization) for
the second quarter of 2005 was $0.2 million compared to $0.3
million for the same period in 2004. Operating expense for the
six-month period ended June 30, 2005 was $0.5 million compared
to $0.5 million for the same period of 2004.

Operating loss for the second quarter of 2005 was $0.2 million
compared to a $0.3 million loss for the same period in 2004.
Operating income for the six-month period ended June 30, 2005
was $0.4 million compared to $0.5 million for the same period of
2004.

Liquidity

As of June 30, 2005, Claxson had cash and cash equivalents of
$21.1 million and $82.1 million in debt, which includes $14.8
million in future interest payments on the Company's 8.75%
Senior Notes due in 2010. For the six-month period ended June
30, 2005, Claxson operating activities generated cash flows of
$6.8 million compared to $0.9 million for the same period of
2004. The difference is primarily due to the improved operating
results. Cash generated from operating activities was primarily
used for the payment of debt obligations and for capital
expenditures. In addition, during the second quarter Claxson
received $11.1 million, net of transaction expenses paid, from
the sale of assets (primarily Chilevision) and an additional
$1.0 million in restricted funds that serve as a holdback for
potential indemnification payable on the first anniversary of
the closing. As part of the terms of the Chilevision sale, we
retained approximately $5.9 million of Chilevision's account
receivable which are being collected as expected.

Claxson (XSONF.OB) is a multimedia company providing branded
entertainment content targeted to Spanish and Portuguese
speakers around the world. Claxson has a portfolio of popular
entertainment brands that are distributed over multiple
platforms through its assets in pay television, radio and the
Internet. Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Miami,
Florida, Claxson has a presence in the United States and all key
Ibero-American countries, including without limitation,
Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Spain and Portugal. Claxson's
principal shareholders are the Cisneros Group of Companies and
funds affiliated with Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc.

CONTACT: Claxson Interactive Group Inc.
         Juan Iramain
         Phone: 011-5411-4339-3701  
                      or
         Jose Antonio Ituarte
         Phone: 011-5411-4339-3700


LA PANADERIA: Individual Claims to be Presented Aug. 26
-------------------------------------------------------
The validated creditors' claims against Buenos Aires-based La
Panaderia S.A. will be presented for final approval in court
tomorrow, Aug. 26, 2005.

La Panaderia S.A. began liquidating its assets following the
pronouncement of the city's Court No. 26 ordering the Company's
liquidation. Mr. Jose Miguel Fernandez was appointed as the
court-appointed trustee.

Mr. Fernandez stopped accepting creditors' claims for
verification on June 30. After the submission of these claims,
the trustee 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 October 7.

The bankruptcy process will end with the disposal company assets
in favor of its creditors.

CONTACT: La Panaderia S.A.
         Sarandi 248
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Jose Miguel Fernandez, Trustee
         Junin 55
         Buenos Aires



MS MONTAJES: Trustee to Submit General Report Aug. 26
-----------------------------------------------------
Ms. Luis Maria Rementeria, the trustee for the MS Montajes
Industriales S.R.L. liquidation, will submit the general report
tomorrow, Aug. 26, 2005.

Court No. 20 of Buenos Aires' civil and commercial tribunal
declared MS Montajes Industriales S.R.L. bankrupt after the
Company defaulted on its obligations.

Ms. Rementeria verified creditors' proofs of claims until May
17. The verified claims served as basis for the individual
reports, which were submitted in court on June 30.

Clerk No. 40 assists the court on this case that will close with
the sale of the Company's assets to repay its creditors.

CONTACT: Mr. Luis Maria Rementeria, Trustee
         Piedras 1319
         Buenos Aires



SEVEN SEAS: Deadline for General Report Submission Approaches
-------------------------------------------------------------
The deadline for the general report on the liquidation of local
company Seven Seas S.A. will be tomorrow, Aug. 26, 2005. Court-
appointed trustee Ana Maria Lopez was assigned to prepare the
said reports.

On June 30, 2005, the trustee submitted the individual reports
on the claims of the Company's creditors. Claims were accepted
until May 17, 2005.

Buenos Aires' civil and commercial Court No. 22 handles the
Company's case. Clerk No. 44 assists the court with the
proceedings.

CONTACT: Ms. Ana Maria Lopez, Trustee
         San Martin 662
         Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: To Close Debt Restructuring Aug. 31
------------------------------------------------------
Telecom Argentina S.A. (BASE: TECO2, NYSE: TEO) ("Telecom
Argentina" or the "Company") announced Tuesday that it intends
to close its debt restructuring process by issuing the Notes and
paying the cash consideration on August 31, 2005 (the "Issuance
Date"), in exchange for the Outstanding Debt, in accordance with
the terms of the Acuerdo Preventivo Extrajudicial entered into
by Telecom Argentina and its financial creditors (the "APE").
The APE was homologated by the Argentine Court on May 26, 2005,
decision that became final on June 10, 2005. Moreover, the
period for non-consenting creditors to elect any of the options
offered by the APE expired on July 4, 2005, date as of which the
APE can be implemented.

On the Issuance Date, Telecom Argentina will comply with the
terms of the APE, by paying the following concepts:

    1. Cash payment to Holders of Outstanding Debt that have
elected Option C (as defined in the APE), equivalent to 85% of
the Principal Face Amount of their Outstanding Debt, payable in
US Dollars, or its equivalent in Pesos for Argentine Residents,
at the prevailing foreign exchange rate at the Issuance Date.

    2. Cash Payment to Holders of Outstanding Debt that have
elected Option B (as defined in the APE), and that in accordance
to the APE will receive in cash 31.875% of the Principal Face
Amount of their Outstanding Debt (equivalent to 85% of 37.5%
allocated from Option B to Option C, as defined in the APE),
payable in US Dollars, or its equivalent in Pesos for Argentine
Residents, at the prevailing foreign exchange rate at the
Issuance Date.

    3. Delivery of the Notes, in accordance to the Option
elected in the APE by each Holder of Outstanding Debt, or Option
A for non-consenting creditors, as contemplated in the APE.

    4. Interest Payments for the period commencing on January 1,
2004 and ending August 31, 2005, based on the nominal amount of
Notes to be received in accordance to point 3 above, and in
accordance to the following interest rates:

Notes to be received in    Annual Interest  Equivalent Rate
accordance to the option       Rate          for the period
elected by each holder                    January 1,2004 through
of Outstanding Debt                          August 31,2005

Option A in Pesos              3.23%                 5.3715%
Option A in US Dollars         5.53%                 9.2167%
Option A in Euros              4.83%                 8.0324%
Option A in Yen                1.93%                 3.2096%
Option B in US Dollars         9.00%                15.0000%


5. Interest Payments for the period commencing on January 1,
2004 and ending August 31, 2005, on the cash received as
described in points 1 and 2 in accordance to the following
interest rates:


Cash to be received in       Annual         Equivalent Rate for
accordance to the option  Interest Rate    the period January 1,
elected by each holder                        2004 through
of Outstanding Debt                           August 31,2005

Option C in US Dollars       2.28%                 3.7938%

Interest described in points 4 and 5, will be calculated as
described in the APE, and in accordance to the option elected by
each holder of Outstanding Debt, or Option A for those non-
consenting creditors (as stated in the APE).

Furthermore, Telecom Argentina announces that on Issuance Date,
it will make the following payments under the Notes:

    (i) The principal amortization payments with scheduled
payment dates of October 15, 2004 and April 15, 2005 (as
described in the APE), in accordance to following percentages of
original principal amount of the Notes:

Series       Scheduled Payment Dates        Percentage of
                                         original principal
                                                amount

A              October 15, 2004                  3.20%
                April 15, 2005                   2.80%
                     TOTAL                       6.00%
B              October 15, 2004                  4.00%
                April 15, 2005                   5.00%
                     TOTAL                       9.00%

The principal amortization payments will be made in cash, in the
currency in which each Series is denominated (Pesos, Euros, US
Dollars, and Yen). Holders of Notes denominated in foreign
currency that are residents in Argentina, will receive payments
in pesos at the prevailing foreign exchange rate as of the
Issuance Date.

    (ii)  the cash amounts reserved but not applied pursuant to
Option C (as defined in the APE), which will be applied as a
Note Payment (as defined in the Notes).

    (iii) A Note Payment (as defined in the Notes).

Payments described in clauses (ii) and (iii) will result in the
payment in whole of the principal amortization payments
scheduled for October 15, 2005, April 15, 2006, October 15,
2006, April 15, 2007, and October 15, 2007. The principal
amortization payments denominated as a percentage of the
original principal amount of the Notes are as follows:

    Series         Scheduled Payment Dates      Percentage of
                                               original
principal
                                                    amount

      A               October 15, 2005              2.80%
                      April 15, 2006                2.40%
                      October 15, 2006              2.40%
                      April 15, 2007                0.80%
                      October 15, 2007              0.80%
                           TOTAL                    9.20%

    Series                                      Percentage of
                                               original
principal
                   Scheduled Payment Dates         amount

      B               October 15, 2005              5.00%
                      April 15, 2006                6.00%
                      October 15, 2006              6.00%
                      April 15, 2007                7.00%
                      October 15, 2007              7.00%
                           TOTAL                   31.00%

The principal amortization payments will be made in cash, in the
currency in which each Series is denominated (Pesos, Euros, US
Dollars, and Yen). Holders of Notes denominated in foreign
currency that are residents in Argentina, will receive payments
in pesos at the prevailing foreign exchange rate as of the
Issuance Date.

The Note Payments indicated in clauses (ii) and (iii) will
result in a reduction of Excess Cash amounts payable under the
Notes on the next Mandatory Prepayment Date (as defined in the
Notes).

Payment shall be made to the holders of the Notes held in global
form through the settlement systems of DTC, Euroclear and
Clearstream, as applicable. If you are an Argentine resident and
you have questions regarding your payments, please contact Banco
Rio de la Plata S.A. domiciled at Bartolome Mitre 480, Ciudad de
Buenos Aires (Tel: 54-11-4341-1000), who has been appointed as
paying agent in Argentina. Payments to holders of Notes in
certificated form will be made by wire transfer to the accounts
of the respective holders.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a
solicitation of an offer to buy the notes referred to herein.
Notes issued outside the United States to non-U.S. persons will
not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended
(the "Securities Act"), as amended, and may not offered or sold
in the United States absent registration or applicable exemption
from the registration requirements of the Securities Act. The
notes offered to U.S. holders pursuant to the restructuring were
offered pursuant to registration statement filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission. The notes are being issued
by Telecom solely in connection with the settlement of its debt
restructuring transaction referred to above.

Telecom Argentina is a company incorporated under the laws of
Argentina with its registered office at Alicia Moreau de Justo
50, Piso 10, C1107AAB, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Telecom
Argentina is one of Argentina's largest telecommunications
operators. It provides local and long-distance telephony, mobile
communications (through its subsidiary Telecom Personal), data
and Internet access services in Argentina. It also operates a
mobile license in Paraguay through one of its subsidiaries.
Telecom Argentina common stock is listed on the Buenos Aires
Stock Exchange under the ticker "TECO2" and Telecom Argentina
ADSs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker
"TEO".

CONTACT: TELECOM ARGENTINA S.A.
         Pedro Insussarry
         Tel: +54-11-4968-3743

         Moira Colombo
         Tel: +54-11-4968-3627

         Gaston Urbina
         +54-11-4968-3628

         Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
         Carlos Medina
         Tel: +1-212-761-6520

         MBA Banco de Inversiones S.A.
         Diego Steverlynck
         Tel: +54-11-4319-5865



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

BANCO VOTORANTIM: To Get a Shot in the Arm From Parent
------------------------------------------------------
Business conglomerate Grupo Votorantim plans to make a BRL500-
million (US$208mn) capital injection into its banking subsidiary
Banco Votorantim at the end of the month at the earliest.

Business News Americas reports that the parent's move is part of
a business diversification strategy.

Grupo Votorantim said it is confident in the banking unit's
outlook. Even though it registered a slight drop in net profits
to BRL345 million in the first half of 2005, from BRL358 million
in the same period last year, Banco Votorantim showed a strong
increase in its loan operations, which jumped 57.5% to BRL9.03
billion at June 30.

Last month, Fitch Ratings upgraded Banco Votorantim's local
currency long-term rating to 'BB+' from 'BB'. The upgrade
reflected Fitch's opinion regarding the strength of the bank's
ultimate parent - Votorantim Participacoes S.A, to which a local
currency rating of 'BBB' and a national long-term rating of
'AAA' were recently assigned.


TCP: Board Approves Vice President's Replacement
------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Telesp Celular Participacoes S.A.
approved in a special meeting held on August 17, 2005 the
replacement of the present Vice President for Compliance and
Institutional Relations, Mr. Jose Carlos de La Rosa Guardiola.

MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
HELD ON AUGUST 17, 2005

1. DATE, TIME AND PLACE: August 17, 2005, at 11:30 a.m., on Av.
Roque Petroni Junior, 1464, 6 andar, Morumbi, Sao Paulo - SP,
upon calling in conformity with the Articles of Incorporation.

2. CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE MEETING: Felix Pablo Ivorra Cano -
Chairman of the Meeting; Breno Rodrigo Pacheco de Oliveira -
Secretary.

3. INSTATEMENT: The meeting was convened with the attendance of
the undersigned Directors, representing a quorum under the terms
of the Articles of Incorporation.

4. AGENDA AND RESOLUTION:

4.1. Approval of the replacement of the present Vice President
for Compliance and Institutional Relations, Mr. Jose Carlos de
La Rosa Guardiola, elected at the Meeting of the Board of
Directors held on August 25, 2003; election for the above
referred office of Mr. Roberto Oliveira de Lima, Brazilian,
married, business manager, holder of identity card n 4.455.053-
4, SSP/SP, enrolled with the CPF/MF under n 860.196.518-00,
residing and domiciled in the Capital of Sao Paulo State, with
business address at Av. Roque Petroni Junior 1464, 6 andar, lado
A, Morumbi, Sao Paulo - SP. It is recorded that the director
elected herein shall occupy said office together with his office
of Chief Executive Officer, as permitted in the Articles of
Incorporation of the Company, until the next first Meeting of
the Board of Directors to be held after the Annual Meeting of
Shareholders of 2006, and that he declares not to be convicted
for any of the crimes provided by Law which might prevent him
from exercising business activities.

4.2. Replacement of the deputy Executive Vice-President for
Finance, Planning and Control: Approval of the replacement of
the current Executive Vice-President for Finance, Planning and
Control, Mr. Arcadio Luis Martinez Garcia, elected at the
Meeting of the Board of Directors held on February 16, 2005,
ratified in the Meeting of the Board of Directors held on July
01, 2005, who was occupying said office on an interim basis up
to this date; ELECTION, on an interim basis, until the Brazilian
visa is granted to Mr. Ernesto Daniel Gardelliano, appointed for
the referred office at the latest Meeting of the Board of
Directors, as above mentioned, of Mr. PAULO CESAR PEREIRA
TEIXEIRA, Brazilian, married, engineer, holder of identity card
n 301.540.175-9 SSP/RS, enrolled with the CPF/MF under n
284.875.750-72, residing and domiciled in the Capital of the
State of Rio de Janeiro, with business address at Praia de
Botafogo, 501, 7 andar, Torre Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro-RJ, who
shall occupy said office together with the office of Investor
Relations Officer , under the terms of letter "g", item III, of
article 21 of the Articles of Incorporation. The appointments of
Mr. PAULO CESAR PEREIRA TEIXEIRA, as above mentioned, shall not
affect his duties as Executive Vice-President of Operations, for
which he was elected at the Meeting of the Board of Directors of
04.16.2003. It is recorded that: (i) the director elected herein
shall occupy said office until the Brazilian visa is granted to
Mr. Ernesto Daniel Gardelliano, which may not exceed the term of
office, that is, April 16, 2006; (ii) he declares not to be
convicted of any crime provided by law which might prevent him
from exercising business activities, as well as is able to sign
the statement required by CVM Instruction n 367/2002 and he is
undertaken to submit such signed statement at the time of the
execution of his Instrument of Investiture.

4.3. CVM Instruction 358/2002 - updating: in order to comply
with the provisions in CVM Instruction n 358/2002, Mr. Paulo
Cesar Pereira Teixeira, Vice-President of Finance, Planning and
Control and Investor Relations Officer, Brazilian, married,
engineer, holder of identity card n 301.540.175-9 SSP/RS,
enrolled with the CPF/MF under n 284.875.750-72, residing and
domiciled in the Capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro, with
business address at Praia de Botafogo, 501, 7 andar, Torre
Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro-RJ , was appointed in substitution for
the current director, to be the officer responsible for the
performance and follow-up of the Relevant Act and Fact
Disclosure Policy.

The Directors praised and thanked for the competence, diligence
and zeal shown by the Officers now leaving their respective
offices.

5. CLOSING OF THE MEETING: Since there was nothing else to be
discussed, the meeting was closed and these minutes were drawn-
up which, after read and approved, were signed by the Directors
attending the meeting and by the Secretary, being transcribed in
the proper book.

Signatures: Felix Pablo Ivorra Cano - Chairman of the Meeting
and Chairman of the Board of Directors; Fernando Xavier
Ferreira; Shakhaf Wine - Directors; Carlos Manuel de L. e V.
Cruz and Luis Paulo Reis Cocco - Directors represented by Mr.
Shakhaf Wine; Ignacio Aller Mallo - Director represented by Mr.
Felix Pablo Ivorra Cano; Breno Rodrigo Pacheco de Oliveira -
General Secretary.

CONTACT: Telesp Celular Participacoes S.A.
         VIVO - Investor Relations
         Phone: 55 11 5105-1172
         Email: ri@vivo.com.br
         URL: www.vivo.com.br/ri


VARIG: Seeks Court OK to Sell VarigLog to US-based Equity Firm
--------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian airline Varig is seeking approval from a Rio de
Janeiro court to sell its express courier and logistics arm,
VarigLog, to the US private equity firm MatlinPatterson Global
Advisors.

Varig President Omar Carneiro da Cunha values its 95% stake in
VarigLog at US$100 million, but after liabilities,
MatlinPatterson will only pay US$38 million in cash.

According to a Varig spokeswoman, the Company will also receive
between US$50 million and US$65 million in Variglog receivables,
which would be paid 30 days after the initial cash payment.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the month,
must be authorized by the Rio de Janeiro-based court, which is
handling Varig's debt restructuring process. Varig's controlling
shareholder, the Rubem Berta Foundation, must also give its seal
of approval.

Cunha said that the cash from the Variglog sale will buy the
financially stricken airline time to implement its debt
restructuring plan.

Varig plans to meet with representatives of its employees on
Aug. 30 to discuss the plan. The final document is scheduled for
presentation to the Rio de Janeiro court managing the process by
Sep. 12.



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

ECOPETROL: Seven Wells Expected to Churn Out Hydrocarbons
---------------------------------------------------------
State-run oil company Ecopetrol SA is confident that out of the
16 wells that have been drilled this year, seven contain
hydrocarbons, says Dow Jones Newswires.

"We have detected that in seven wells there are possible
reserves of 68 million barrels of oil," said Mauricio Salgar,
vice president of Ecopetrol's operations.

Five of the seven wells expected to produce hydrocarbons are:

1) Vigia well in the Llanos Basin and is being explored by
London-based Emerald Energy PLC;

2) Caricare well also in the Llanos basin and is controlled by
U.S. oil major Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY);

3) Guayuyaco in the Putumayo state bordering Ecuador and is
being explored by U.S.-based Argosy Energy;

4) Granadilla in the Magdalena basin and is being explored by
Ecopetrol in association with Colombia-based Hocol; and

5) Cagui in the northeastern state of Santander and is being
explored by Ecopetrol alone.

Colombia hopes to drill 40 oil wells this year, 12 more than
drilled in 2004.

Preliminary data from Ecopetrol showed that Colombia's total
crude oil output fell to 525,000 barrels a day in June, slightly
lower than 528,000 b/d in the same month last year.


TELECOM: EPM, ETB Seek Alliance With TEM to Counter Telmex's Bid
----------------------------------------------------------------
Public utility Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) and
telecommunications firm Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota
(ETB) are seeking to team up with Spain's Telefonica Moviles
(TEM) to acquire state-owned telecom firm, Colombia
Telecomunicaciones (Telecom).

Dow Jones reveals that the general managers of EPM and ETB met
late Monday in Medellin with Sergio Regueros, president of
Telefonica Moviles' Colombian operations, to discuss the
alliance.

According to EPM's General Manager, Juan Felipe Gaviria, the
telecom companies are moving quickly to counter fierce
competition with the arrival of Mexican fixed-line telephone
service, Telmex, in the country.

Telmex announced earlier this week that it has reached a
preliminary agreement to form a cell phone partnership with
Telecom. The deal is said to be worth US$3 billion.

Spanish telecom giant Telefonica SA, which owns a 91% stake in
Telefonica Moviles, was also bidding to take over the management
of Telecom.

"It's evident that a new international operator would like to
join forces with the second and the third most important
telephone companies, which are EPM and ETB, now that a possible
alliance between (Colombia) Telecom and Telmex is approaching,"
EPM's Gaviria was quoted as saying.



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

* ECUADOR: 'CCC+' Long-Term Credit Rating Placed on Watch Neg.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has placed its 'CCC+' long-
term sovereign credit rating on the Republic of Ecuador on
CreditWatch with negative implications. The action reflects
increased risk surrounding the government's already-precarious
financing scenario over the coming year.

"The recent events in Ecuador that led to a fall in oil
production illustrate the high level of political risk. The
combination of a government with limited political backing and a
highly divisive political environment raises uncertainty about
the prospects of a meaningful and lasting resolution of the
issues raised in the current dispute in the oil sector," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Joydeep Mukherji. "Heightened
social tensions, with demands for contract renegotiation with
private oil producers and more tax revenue devolved to local
governments, may hurt the government's already-weak fiscal
position," he added.

Despite some recovery of oil production since late last week and
the possibility of an "oil loan" from the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela, fiscal losses will further complicate a tight
financing picture. Standard & Poor's estimated a financing gap
of around US$400 million before the devolution of some US$400
million in social security reserve funds. The return of these
funds further drains limited resources and will also likely
require an increase in the ceiling for holdings of government
paper by the social security institute that has yet to occur.

"The rating could be downgraded if the current impasse results
in greater financial stress for the sovereign," noted Mr.
Mukherji. "Conversely, the rating could be removed from
CreditWatch if the negative fiscal impact appears to be more
manageable than expected and/or the political impasse is
resolved quickly and effectively, resulting in a rapid
resumption of oil production," he concluded.

Primary Credit Analyst: Joydeep Mukherji, New York
(1) 212-438-7351; joydeep_mukherji@standardandpoors.com

Secondary Credit Analyst: Roberto Sifon Arevalo, New York
(1) 212-438-7358; roberto_sifon-arevalo@standardandpoors.com



=============
J A M A I C A
=============

* JAMAICA: Rating, Outlook Supported By Fiscal Consolidation
------------------------------------------------------------
In its annual report on Jamaica, Moody's Investors Service says
the country's B1 foreign-currency debt rating and stable outlook
are supported by the government's resolve to reverse debt
dynamics via an aggressive fiscal adjustment. The ratings are
constrained by the authorities' limited maneuvering room for a
response to any additional shocks without triggering further
deterioration in the fiscal-balance and the public-sector debt
ratios.

"The stable outlook reflects a balance between vulnerability to
economic shocks and ongoing efforts at fiscal consolidation. The
economy, the fiscal and external positions as well as the
public-sector debt dynamics all remain sensitive to external and
domestic shocks. The authorities' ability to maintain a high
level of credibility in the macroeconomic program will be key in
order to avoid a potential loss of confidence during times of
pressure," said Moody's Assistant Vice President Alessandra
Alecci, author of the report.

Despite six years of steady growth in the face of a series of
external shocks, major imbalances in the country's finances
persist. Public debt ratios, albeit modestly declining, remain
significantly elevated, with general government debt to GDP at
137%. External debt ratios also worsened. Jamaica's deficit
narrowed to around 5.0% of GDP for the 2004/05 fiscal year but
remained well above the target. The current account deficit is
still substantial at 7.9% of GDP in 2004 but is reduced from
previous years.

The central objective for Jamaica's 2005/2006 budget continues
to be a balanced fiscal position over the medium term to ensure
the sustainability of public-sector debt dynamics. Jamaica's
government has designed an ambitious medium-term macroeconomic
program to achieve a sustained reduction in debt ratios, says
Moody's, noting that while the targets are attainable,
correcting Jamaica's imbalances will require steadfast
commitment to fiscal discipline and a swift response to
potentially destabilizing exogenous shocks.

"Despite a carefully crafted and aggressive adjustment program,
a sustained reduction in debt ratios remains very vulnerable to
policy slippage and exogenous shocks, such as hurricanes and
interest and exchange rates," said Ms. Alecci.

The rating agency's report, "Jamaica 2005 Global Credit
Analysis," is a yearly update to the markets and is not a rating
action.

CONTACT:  New York
          Alessandra Alecci
          Analyst
          Financial Institutions Group
          Moody's Investors Service
          JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
          SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

          New York
          Vincent J. Truglia
          Managing Director
          Financial Institutions Group
          Moody's Investors Service
          JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
          SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653



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

GRUPO GIGANTE: Refinances Debt With Inbursa Loan
------------------------------------------------
Grupo Gigante SA, Mexico's fourth-largest retail chain, secured
a MXN2.7-billion ($250 million) loan from Banco Inbursa SA,
which is controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, to refinance
debt.

In a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange, Gigante said the
loan is for more than 10 years with a one-year grace period, and
will pay floating interest referenced to the interbank rate
TIIE.

The Company will repay the loan in 37 quarterly installments,
each larger than the previous, with the final payment at
maturity for 50% of the total. Conditions include limitations on
Gigante's paying dividends during the life of the loan.

Struggling to compete with retail giant Wal-Mart de Mexico,
Gigante said the restructuring will improve its financial
situation and cash flow, helping the Company to continue its
expansion plans.


GRUPO MEXICO: Strike Threat Still On Despite Progress in Talks
--------------------------------------------------------------
Negotiations between Grupo Mexico and workers at the Company's
La Cananea copper mine regarding the renewal of collective
contracts are going well.

But according to a Dow Jones Newswires report, Rene Cordova,
local representative at La Cananea for the Mexican Mining and
Metallurgical Workers Union, said despite seeing a positive
advance in talks, the workers were still enforcing the Aug. 27
deadline.

Cananea workers have threatened to go on strike by Aug. 27 if no
satisfactory results are achieved in negotiations with Grupo
Mexico by that date.

Cordova said the productivity bonus was the most disputed issue
in the current talks over the collective contract at the
Cananea, which holds Mexico's biggest copper reserves and has
the second largest operation of refined copper products after La
Caridad, also a Grupo Mexico unit in Sonora.

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
          Web site: http://www.gmexico.com


HYLSAMEX: Board Appoints New Officers
-------------------------------------
The Board of Directors at Hylsamex, S.A. de C.V. met Monday to
appoint Alejandro M. Elizondo Barragan as Chairman of the Board
and Daniel Novegil as Chief Executive Officer.

As of today, Hylsamex is a part of Ternium, the entity into
which the Techint Group is in the process of consolidating its
direct and indirect holdings in the flat steel and long products
businesses.

CONTACT: Othon Diaz Del Guante
         Tel: (52-81) 8865-1240
         E-mail: odiaz@hylsamex.com.mx

         Ismael De La Garza
         Tel: (52-81) 8865-1224
         E-mail: idelagarza@hylsamex.com.mx


SATMEX: SCT to Name Case Supervisor This Week
---------------------------------------------
Mexico's transport and communications ministry SCT will select a
case supervisor for Satmex this week, a move that would pave the
way for the satellite operator to commence bankruptcy
proceedings under Mexican law.

According to Business News Americas, SCT has considered five
people as case supervisor, including Tomas Heather of law firm
White & Case, and Ruben Goldberg of Rothschild bank.

Satmex is going ahead with its bankruptcy case in Mexico under a
process known locally as concurso mercantil after US creditors
claiming at least US$379 million of defaulted debt agreed to
withdraw a forced chapter 11 filing in the US.

Once chosen, the case supervisor will have up to 30 days to
study the case before launching a fresh negotiation process, and
the aim is for Satmex to make a financial restructuring proposal
to the US creditors by October 31.

Headquartered in Mexico, Satmex derives over 50% of its revenues
from United States business, and all of the Company's over
US$500 million in debt was issued in the United States and is
governed by New York law. The Company's largest shareholder,
Loral Space & Communications Ltd., is a United States public
company also undergoing a Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Company was forced into chapter 11 by a group of secured and
unsecured noteholders on May 25, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No.
05-13862). The noteholders are represented by Wilmer Cutler
Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
LLP. Evercore Partners is the financial advisor to the Senior
Secured Floating Rate Noteholders. Chanin Capital Partners is
the financial advisor to the 10-1/8% Senior Noteholders.

On June 29, 2005, the Company filed a voluntary concurso
mercantile to restructure under Mexican laws, and later moved to
dismiss the involuntary Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. As of
May 31, 2005, Satmex reports US$900 million in total assets and
US$688 million in total debts.


SICARTSA: Enormous Losses From Strike May Prompt Plant's Closure
----------------------------------------------------------------
The strike at Sicartsa has generated losses totaling US$66
million, Business News Americas reports, citing Sicartsa
director general Sergio Villareal.

Some 2,000 steel workers have been on strike since Aug. 1 at
Sicartsa, a unit of Grupo Villacero, over alleged contract
violations and to push for new labor agreements.

Villareal warned that the losses could result to a permanent
closure of the plant, leaving some 10,000 workers without jobs.

"The situation at the unit is deteriorating because there hasn't
been any advance in talks with the union, and our installations
at Sicartsa continue to be seized, which is affecting the entire
population in Lazaro Cardenas," said Grupo Villacero financial
director Ignacio Trevino.


UNITED RENTALS: Soliciting Securities Holders' Consent
------------------------------------------------------
United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) is soliciting consents for
amendments to the indentures governing its bonds and QUIPs
securities, which would allow the company additional time to
make certain SEC filings.  As previously announced, the company
has delayed filing its Form 10-K for 2004 and Form 10-Qs for
subsequent 2005 quarters.

The consents are being solicited from the holders of these
securities:

  -- 6-1/2% Senior Notes due 2012;

  -- 7-3/4% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013;

  -- 7% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2014;

  -- 1-7/8% Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2023

  -- 6-1/2% Convertible Quarterly Income Preferred Securities
     (QUIPs);

The indentures for the securities require the company to timely
file required annual and other periodic reports with the SEC.  
The proposed amendments would, among other things, allow the
company up until March 31, 2006 to regain compliance with this
requirement and waive any violation of this requirement that has
previously occurred.

The company is offering a consent fee of $2.50 for each $1,000
in principal amount of notes and $0.125 for each $50 of
liquidation preference of QUIPs as to which the holder provides
a consent. In addition, if the company does not file its 2004
Form 10-K by December 31, 2005, the company will pay an
additional $2.50 for each $1,000 in principal amount of notes
and $0.125 for each $50 of liquidation preference of QUIPs.

Approval of the proposed amendments and related waiver with
respect to each series of securities requires the consent of
holders of the majority of principal amount or liquidation
preference, as applicable, of the outstanding securities of such
series.

The consent solicitations will expire at 5:00 p.m., New York
City time, on September 7, 2005, unless extended.  Holders may
tender their consents to the Information Agent at any time
before the expiration date.  However, after consents are
received from the requisite majority of holders of any series of
securities, the company will execute a supplemental indenture
and thereafter the consents related to that series may not be
revoked unless the company fails to pay the required consent
fee.

The company has retained Credit Suisse First Boston to serve as
Solicitation Agent for the solicitation, and MacKenzie Partners
to serve as the Information Agent.  Copies of the consent
solicitation statements, consent form and related documents may
be obtained at no charge by contacting the Information Agent by
telephone at (800) 322-2885 (toll free) or (212) 929-5500 (call
collect), or in writing at 105 Madison Avenue, New York, New
York 10016.  Questions regarding the solicitation may be
directed to: Credit Suisse First Boston, Eleven Madison Avenue,
New York, New York, 10010, U.S. Toll Free: (800) 820-1653, Call
Collect: (212) 325-7596, Attn: Liability Management Group.

United Rentals, Inc. -- http://www.unitedrentals.com/-- is the  
largest equipment rental company in the world, with an
integrated network of more than 730 rental locations in 48
states, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.  The company's 13,200
employees serve construction and industrial customers,
utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others.  The company
offers for rent over 600 different types of equipment with a
total original cost of $3.9 billion.  United Rentals is a member
of the Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 2000
Index(R) and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.  

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 18, 2005,
Moody's Investors Service lowered the long-term ratings of
United Rental (North America) Inc. and its related entities:  

  * Corporate Family Rating (previously called Senior Implied)  
    to B1 from Ba3;  

  * Senior Unsecured to B2 from B1; Senior Subordinate to B3  
    from B2; and  

  * Quarterly Income Preferred Securities to Caa1 from B3.

The rating action is prompted by the continuing challenges
facing the company in resolving the pending SEC investigation
and certain accounting irregularities.  These challenges are
accentuated by today's announcement regarding the employment
status of the company's President and Chief Financial Officer.  
URI's board determined that refusal by the President and CFO to
answer questions at this time by the special committee of the
board constitutes a failure to perform his duties, and would
constitute grounds for termination if not cured within the
thirty-day cure period provided by his employment agreement.  
The special committee of the board is reviewing matters relating
to the previously disclosed SEC inquiry of the company.
(Troubled Company Reporter, Wednesday, August 24, 2005, Vol. 9,
No. 200)



=============
U R U G U A Y
=============

URAGUA: Blocking OSE's Efforts to Transfer Services
---------------------------------------------------
State water utility OSE said private water operator Uragua is
blocking the process of transferring services in the city of
Maldonado to OSE, relates Business News Americas.

OSE formally rescinded Uragua's concession contract in June
because the latter allegedly failed to meet requirements as
outlined in the contract.

Just recently, OSE sent a delegation of engineers to Uragua's
facilities to evaluate their condition. However, the engineers
were prevented from accessing the area by company security
guards.

The situation was "unheard of," OSE president Carlos Colacce
said, as both companies have agreed that OSE must assume the
services.

"They say because the contract collapsed October 31 and we say
because we understand the contract was cancelled before that
date. Now they are making the transfer difficult," Colacce was
quoted as saying.

OSE is awaiting congress to approve the bill putting the state-
owned water utility back in control of services in Maldonado.
This proposal was already approved by the senate and is now in
the lower chamber.

If the problems with the transition of Uragua services continue
beyond September 15, OSE and the executive branch of government
will intervene in the company themselves.

"That is the date on which we have to be assuming control
because we have a number of infrastructure preparations to make
to ensure proper services in the summer period," said Colacce.



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

PDVSA: Partnership With Petrobras Firmed
----------------------------------------
Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA's partnership with Brazil's
Petrobras was made firm when the latter confirmed plans to build
a new refinery in Brazil as agreed by both companies, EFE News
Service reports.

Representatives of the two governments have been hammering out a
deal to build at a cost of some $2.5 billion a refinery that can
process 200,000 to 250,000 barrels of heavy crude a day.

Petrobras President Jose Sergio Gabrielli informed that the new
refinery, defined as a Petrobras enterprise and included in
Petrobras' 2006-2010 expansion plan, is expected to go between
late 2010 and 2011 in the northeast.

According to analysts, it is not yet clear whether the new plant
will refine PDVSA or Petrobras crude extracted from Brazilian
oilfields, but another option would be that the plant could
process a little bit of each, or Venezuelan oil drilled by
Petrobras.

No decision has been made yet on the site and Gabrielli provided
no further details.

Petrobras and PDVSA have signed several confidentiality
agreements covering the projects under consideration, Gabrielli
said.



                            ***********


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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Copyright 2005.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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* * * End of Transmission * * *