TCRLA_Public/191212.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 12, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 248

                           Headlines



B R A Z I L

BRAZIL: IDB Approves US$300MM Loan to Support State of Amapa
IMCOPA: Judge Reschedules Auction of Two Plants to February 17
JBS SA: Says U.S. Listing Would Not Change Headquarters


C O L O M B I A

TERMOCANDELARIA POWER: S&P Downgrades ICR to 'BB' On Weaker EBITDA


M E X I C O

ARMOUR SECURE: A.M. Best Puts B (Fair) FSR on Review
MEXICO: IDB Approves Credit Line to Boost Agricultural Sector


P A R A G U A Y

PARAGUAY: Gets US$80MM IDB Credit Line to Boost Agricultural Sector


P U E R T O   R I C O

NOSCE TE IPSUM: Asks Court to Extend Exclusivity Period to April 6


T R I N I D A D   A N D   T O B A G O

UNILEVER CARIBBEAN: OWTU Heading to Industrial Court


V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Rosneft Unit Leads Talks on Service Deals

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B R A Z I L
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BRAZIL: IDB Approves US$300MM Loan to Support State of Amapa
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Brazil will contribute to the fiscal sustainability of the State of
Amapa with the improvement of public expenditure management and the
modernization of the tax system with the support of a US$30 million
loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The program aims to improve management processes and instruments,
modernize the technological infrastructure and increase the
transparency of the treasury in the State of Amapa, enhancing the
institutional performance of its Ministry of Finance.

The management of human resources is foreseen, including mapping of
the profiles and skills development of officials and procedures for
knowledge management.  Information security and cybersecurity
procedures and policies will be included, as well as infrastructure
for the use of big data and the extension of the contingency
environment in case of failures or disasters.

The transparency portal will also be improved with new procedures
and technological tools for communication and transparency of state
policies, and the reformulation and expansion of the fiscal
education program with an awareness campaign.

On the other hand, the efficiency of tax collection will be
increased, income will be increased, tax compliance will be
simplified and tax discipline will be contributed and the
efficiency and effectiveness of public spending will be increased.
This will lead to an update of the audit procedure and massive
fiscal intelligence based on risk, with improvements in the control
module of the Integrated Tax Administration System, the redesign of
the organization of the procurement processes and strategic
planning of the contracts, and the update of the Integrated
Administrative Management System regarding the registration of
suppliers, contract management, process automation and the
interface with the Financial System, among others.

The State of Amapa will benefit its citizens, businesses,
taxpayers, and public and non-governmental sector entities, through
a better provision of services, facilities and lower costs for tax
compliance, and an improvement in the availability of information
for the management and accountability of the State.

The IDB loan of $30 million has a repayment term of 25 years, a
grace period of five and a half years, and an interest rate based
on LIBOR, and has a local counterpart of $3 million.

              About Inter-American Development Bank

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives.
Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term
financing for economic, social and institutional development in
Latin America and the Caribbean.  The IDB also conducts
cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical
assistance and training to public and private sector clients
throughout the region.


IMCOPA: Judge Reschedules Auction of Two Plants to February 17
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ana Mano at Reuters reports that a Brazilian bankruptcy judge has
pushed back the sale of two soy crushing plants after U.S-based
grain trader Bunge Ltd alleged the seller provided insufficient
information about the assets, according to court filings seen by
Reuters on Dec. 6.

According to Reuters, the auction of the two plants by privately
owned Imcopa group, rescheduled to Feb. 17 from Dec. 4, is part of
the seller's plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

Imcopa and a court-appointed judicial administrator agreed to
cancel last week's auction of the two strategic plants in Parana
state, Reuters relays, citing court documents.

Bunge alleged that missing and "outdated" information in Imcopa's
data room makes it hard to analyze the risks of the potential
investment, Reuters discloses.

It also claimed "inconsistencies" between the reorganization plan
and bidding rules, Reuters notes.

According to Bunge's interpretation of Imcopa's reorganization
plan, both plants should be divested under the same "UPI"
structure, which can be sold free of any liabilities, Reuters
states.

A Dec. 3 ruling showed partially agreeing with Bunge's arguments,
Judge Mariana Gusso ordered Imcopa to update the data room, Reuters
relates.  However, the decision stated that Imcopa's reorganization
plan allows the creation "of up to two UPI" structures, Reuters
recounts.

The minimum asking price for each of the plants is 25 million
reais, Reuters discloses.

The combined debt attached to the two plants, which any buyer will
have to assume, is 1.043 billion reais ($248 million) as of
December 2018, Reuters relays, citing public records.

Two other potential contenders are CJ Selecta, owned by South
Korea's CJ Cheiljedang, and the local unit of Russia's Sodrugestvo,
Reuters notes.

Imcopa, which makes soyoil and soy protein concentrate, is one of
the largest non-genetically modified soy crushers in Brazil.


JBS SA: Says U.S. Listing Would Not Change Headquarters
-------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that JBS SA said in a securities filing on Dec. 6
the company is considering a U.S. listing of its international
assets but not a change of its headquarters.

According to Reuters, the company said it expects to have a capital
structure that allows it to compete "on equal footing" with
international rivals, adding that tax rates were not the main
reason for the potential listing.

Reuters relates that while JBS said it would not move its
headquarters, the filing noted that the "choice of a country to
constitute the vehicle that will be listed" was part of the process
of listing its overseas operations.

In the filing, JBS also denied an earlier report by Brazilian
newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo that cited an alleged June plan,
mentioning a potential change of headquarters to the Netherlands or
Luxembourg, Reuters relays.

Two years ago, a transaction proposed by JBS that included
transferring its international operations to Ireland was blocked by
the Brazilian development bank BNDES, a relevant shareholder in the
company, Reuters notes.

Brazil-based JBS S.A. operates as a processor of a range of meats.
The Company processes meats, such as beef, pork, lamb and chicken,
as well as the hides. JBS exports its products throughout the
world.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Nov.
1, 2019, S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term issuer credit
ratings on Brazil-based protein processor JBS S.A. (JBS) and JBS
USA Lux S.A. to 'BB' from 'BB-'.



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C O L O M B I A
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TERMOCANDELARIA POWER: S&P Downgrades ICR to 'BB' On Weaker EBITDA
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On Dec. 9, 2019, S&P Global Ratings lowered its issuer credit and
issue-level ratings on the Colombian electric power generator,
Termocandelaria Power Ltd (TPL), to 'BB' from 'BB+'.

S&P said, "The downgrade reflects our view that TPL's
lower-than-expected EBITDA in 2019 and 2020, due to its exposure to
hydrology conditions given its fully merchant nature, combined with
its required investments to close the cycle of its TECAN gas
power-plant, will lead to net debt to EBITDA beyond 2.5x, above our
expectations of about 2.0x. Nevertheless, we expect the group to
continue posting comfortable liquidity during this period."
However, EBITDA can improve to $200 million, and leverage can
decrease towards 2.0x in 2021, but this ultimately depends on the
hydrology conditions, which are inherently uncertain. If latter
remain at the current level, the company's leverage would stay
above 2.0x.

TPL has been struggling in 2019, given a drop of close to 20% in
the generation in the second quarter. The fall was a result of
TPL's lower dispatch after the market administrators' trials to
reduce out-of-merit generation levels, diminishing reliability on
the Caribbean Coast region, and consequently, dramatically
increasing electricity rationing levels in that area. In addition,
in the third quarter of 2019, the group carried out a planned major
maintenance of some of its turbines, also reducing the power
output. As a result, S&P now expects TPL's EBITDA by the end of the
year to be in a range of $135 million and $150 million, which will
lead to net debt to EBITDA closer to 2.5x, versus its previous
forecasted EBITDA of around $200 million with the leverage ratio
close to 2.0x.

S&P said, "Furthermore, we consider 2020 will also be tough for TPL
and its metrics will remain similar to those in 2019. This is
mainly due to weather conditions, because the rainfall season in
2020 could be heavier than originally expected, requiring more
out-of-merit generation (to cover the country's electrical system
imbalances) and less in-merit generation (when the spot price is
above the plant's generation costs).

"In our view, the sustained deterioration of TPL's metrics, the
potential volatility in the merchant electricity market, and the
hydrology changes, which could result in an in-the-merit or
out-of-merit generation, could weaken the group's credit quality."
However, TPL receives a fixed and dollar-denominated capacity
payments (a reliability charge) that represents about 20% of its
revenues, mitigating to some extent, the cash flow volatility from
sales at the spot market.

In February 2019, the Colombian Energy and Gas Regulatory
Commission awarded TPL's subsidiary, Termocandelaria S.C.A. E.S.P.
(TECAN; not rated), an incremental regulated income, which is an
incentive for generators for backing Firm Energy Obligations (OEFs)
with LNG.

The remuneration associated will be a reliability charge, which is
a fixed income that compensates for TECAN's availability after it
will be converted into a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) with an
installed capacity of about 560 MW from the current 324 MW cycle
gas turbine (OCGT). The remuneration will position the plant to be
dispatched in-merit (when the spot price is higher than the
marginal production costs of the respective plant, allowing
generators to sell their energy at a profit) at spot prices, thus
increasing the load factor and enhancing margins through operating
leverage.

The total investment is about $200 million and the plant's
conversion will take close to 30 months (April 2022), which is
prior to the commencement of operations date (COD) set by the
regulator on Dec. 1, 2022. The constructor, entered into a lump
sum, turnkey, engineering, procurement and construction contract
with TECAN. If the contractor is unable to finish by the COD, the
construction period can be extended up to an additional year by
extending the guarantee of entry into commercial operation and no
support from other generators to comply with the reliability charge
would be required during this period. S&P's base-case scenario
assumes that TPL will start operations at TECAN by the COD of
December 2022.

In terms of revenues, once the cycle conversion ends, TECAN will
start to receive a reliability charge of about $30 million per
year. The latter, together with the existing reliability charges of
TECAN and of the other subsidiary, Termobarranquilla S.C.A. E.S.P.
(TEBSA), will be close to $200 million per year starting in 2023
and will represent about 25% of TPL's consolidated revenue. This
will help mitigate the volatility associated with the group's
merchant commercial strategy.

TPL will finance the conversion of the plant with a combination of
cash flows and debt. S&P considers that TPL has a wide access to
the domestic and international markets to finance the investment.




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M E X I C O
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ARMOUR SECURE: A.M. Best Puts B (Fair) FSR on Review
----------------------------------------------------
AM Best has placed under review with developing implications the
Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair), the Long-Term Issuer Credit
Rating of "bb" and the Mexico National Scale Rating of "a.MX" of
Armour Secure Insurance S.A. de C.V. (Armour) (Mexico) following an
announcement that it will be acquired by AXA XL.

This transaction is pending regulatory approval from Mexico
regulator Comision Nacional de Seguros y Fianzas (CNSF). The
ratings will remain under review until AM Best can fully assess the
financial and operational impacts of the acquisition.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit
Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of
AM Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria
employed in the rating process.

Key insurance criteria report utilized:

Available Capital & Holding Company Analysis (Version Oct. 13,
2017)

Evaluating Country Risk (Version Oct. 13, 2017)

Evaluating U.S. Surplus Notes (Version Oct. 13, 2017)

Rating Title Insurance Companies (Version Aug. 01, 2019)

Understanding Universal BCAR (Version May 13, 2019)

AM Best's Ratings On a National Scale (Version Oct. 13, 2017)

View a general description of the policies and procedures used to
determine credit ratings.

Previous Rating Date: Nov. 2, 2018

Date Range of Financial Data Used: Dec. 31, 2013 - Sept. 30, 2019  

MEXICO: IDB Approves Credit Line to Boost Agricultural Sector
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a conditional
credit line for investment projects (CCLIP) and a first program
under this credit line, in order to increase the productivity of
the agricultural sector, rural financial inclusion and
environmental sustainability and climate resilience in Mexico. This
program will be executed by the National Financial of Agricultural,
Rural, Forestry and Fisheries Development (FND).

The operation will offer greater access to financing for Rural
Economic Units (REU) with projects that support greater investment
in the field and environmental sustainability.

The program will focus on small and medium-sized REUs that develop
productive activities in the primary and agro-industrial sector, as
well as other economic activities linked to the rural sector. It is
expected to promote technological innovation projects, where there
are opportunities for optimization of production along the
agricultural value chain.

In addition, priority will be given to financial inclusion, with
emphasis on supporting REU in municipalities or areas characterized
as high and very high marginalization, such as the southern and
southeastern region of Mexico.

To contribute to sustainable development and address vulnerability
to climate change, projects that reduce pressure on natural
resources will be invested through greater efficiency and
productivity in the use of water, energy and land use, as well as
others that contribute to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases
and vulnerability to climate change, and carbon sequestration.

As part of the program, a new FND line of credit will be financed
for the management of counterparty risks of rural financial
intermediaries to support the financing of investments in the
agricultural and rural sector.  This risk management instrument
helps solve the general problem of financing small and medium-sized
productive units with difficulties in providing enough guarantees.

              About Inter-American Development Bank

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives.
Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term
financing for economic, social and institutional development in
Latin America and the Caribbean.  The IDB also conducts
cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical
assistance and training to public and private sector clients
throughout the region.




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P A R A G U A Y
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PARAGUAY: Gets US$80MM IDB Credit Line to Boost Agricultural Sector
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a US$80 million
credit line and an initial individual operation of US$20 million
under this line to help Paraguay improve agricultural productivity
through investments aimed at enhancing the government's ability to
deliver quality public services to producers.  The specific goal of
this first individual operation is to help boost the agricultural
sector's productivity and environmental sustainability by
strengthening the country's capacity to generate and transfer
technology.

To this end, the operation will finance actions to improve the
institutional effectiveness of the Instituto Paraguayo de
Tecnología Agraria (IPTA, the country's Agrarian Technology
Institute) to generate, manage and transfer technology.  These
actions will be complemented with agreements with the private
sector and research institutes to boost up access to national and
regional knowledge, and with efforts to obtain additional
resources.

The program will also support other IPTA activities, including its
strategic management, its product management, and its human
resources support and management capabilities.  In addition, it
will contribute to develop the institute's innovation and
technology transfer abilities, financing 11 priority innovation
lines, including direct operational costs, hiring qualified local
and international experts to stimulate high-priority programs, and
promoting forestry research projects.

Other areas supported by the program include financing
infrastructure, equipment and cross-cutting services for the
implementation of some of IPTA's main lines of research, such as
the rehabilitation of its four investigation centers and the
procurement of agricultural equipment, machinery, vehicles and
laboratories.

Upgrading IPTA's profile as a public entity responsible for the
agricultural sector's technological development will benefit
researchers -- who will receive specialized training -- the
country's farming sector in general, and in particular some 15,000
producers within the area of influence of the Research Centers, who
will have access to technologies generated by the institution's
main research programs.

The US$80 million credit line and the first individual operation
under this line, for US$20 million, have both a 22 year and 9 month
amortization period, a 7 year and 9 month grace period, and a
Libor-based interest rate.

                          About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives.
Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term
financing for economic, social and institutional development in
Latin America and the Caribbean.  The IDB also conducts
cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical
assistance and training to public and private sector clients
throughout the region.




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P U E R T O   R I C O
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NOSCE TE IPSUM: Asks Court to Extend Exclusivity Period to April 6
------------------------------------------------------------------
Nosce Te Ipsum, Inc. asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Puerto Rico to extend the period during which only the
company can file a Chapter 11 plan to April 6, 2020.

The company said it is in the process of obtaining an updated
appraisal of its property and negotiating with potential buyers,
and requires additional time to file a bankruptcy plan.

                 About Nosce Te Ipsum

Nosce Te Ipsum, Inc. classifies its business as single asset real
estate (as defined in 11 U.S.C. Section 101(51B)).  It owns in fee
simple a five-story building with office and commercial spaces for
lease, and adjacent parking lot structure in Guaynabo, P.R., valued
at $7 million.

Nosce Te Ipsum filed a Chapter 11 petition (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No.
19-05155) on Sept. 9, 2019.  In the petition signed by Maria De Los
A. Ubarri, general manager, the Debtor disclosed $7,046,991 in
assets and $5,210,939 in liabilities.  The Hon. Brian K. Tester
oversees the case. Andrew Jimenez Cancel, Esq., at Andrew Jimenez
Law Offices, is the bankruptcy counsel.



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T R I N I D A D   A N D   T O B A G O
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UNILEVER CARIBBEAN: OWTU Heading to Industrial Court
----------------------------------------------------
Michelle Loubon at Trinidad Express reports that Oilfields Workers'
Trade Union (OWTU) officials on Dec. 5 said that the trade union
would not stand by and allow about 170 Unilever employees to "lose
their jobs, and, worse yet, lose their benefits".

So said its president general Ancel Roget, as he led a protest
outside Unilever compound, Champs Fleurs, on Dec. 5, Trinidad
Express relates. Roget also said it was unfair for the company to
send employees home, and, then outsource labour to get the same job
done. Roget was joined by the OWTU's first vice-president Ricky
Benny, education and research officer Ozzi Warwick and general
secretary Richard Lee.

Braving the inclement weather, the trade union members sang songs
of solidarity, including "With a rope and a mango tree, we will
hang the company," the report relays.

Unilever employs operators, technicians and cashiers who produce
household and cleaning products at the facility for the local and
regional markets.

"It's a mad rush to send workers home. Several months ago, there
was restructuring of the company. People met with the union to
ensure there was cooperation with the company to have no
displacement of workers. There are options to ensure workers' jobs
are preserved. They (Unilever) said they can no longer continue
with the number of workers. No union likes to discuss sending home
workers. If workers are sent home, it would add to the situation
where thousands of workers (Yara/Petrotrin/TSTT/TCL) are losing
their jobs," the report quotes Roget as saying.  "Workers are
entitled to certain provisions and entitlements. You can’t be
redundant if you have the job performed by someone else. You are
sending workers home and then outsourcing labour. A lot of madness
happening and the union has to bring some sanity. This is going to
head to the Industrial Court (St Vincent Street), where the company
would be found wanting."

Trinidad Express adds that Roget also said it was necessary to look
at the exploitation of workers and the importation of sub-standard
products which compromise health and safety standards. He also said
another meeting between the union and the company is scheduled for
December 13. On the possibility of Unipet sending home about 600
employees, Roget said: "We will speak about it at another time. We
will have much to say about it."

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Dec.
9, 2019, Trinidad Express said more than 200 workers from the
Unilever Caribbean Ltd (UCL) will lose their jobs in the coming
days. The Champs Fleurs-based manufacturing and distribution
company, with brands such as Lipton and Dove, has a statement
confirming that it would initiate a "retrenchment exercise as a
result of a restructuring of its operations in Trinidad and Tobago.



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V E N E Z U E L A
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PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Rosneft Unit Leads Talks on Service Deals
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg News reports that a subsidiary of Rosneft Oil Co. has
taken over some contract discussions with local service providers
in Venezuela, stepping in for Petroleos de Venezuela SA on joint
projects with the state-owned oil company, according to people
familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg relates that the move is a major turnabout for PDVSA,
which in the past typically operated all aspects of the joint
ventures, said the people, who asked not to be named because the
talks with the service providers aren't public.

It builds on previous small steps that have yielded key activities
to Rosneft, and underscores Russia's growing influence in
Venezuela's oil industry. According to Bloomberg, PDVSA has been
forced to cede more control amid an exodus of experienced workers,
corruption and lack of investment that has driven production down
to less than 800,000 barrels a day in October from more than 2.5
million in 2015.

The Russian oil company is stepping in to reinforce current assets
and widen its presence in the country, even as some of Venezuela's
other partners such as China National Petroleum Corp. have signaled
reluctance. Over the past months, CNPC's affiliates have shied away
from construction works and projects at oil facilities.

PDVSA and Rosneft plan to boost production at three of their five
joint ventures -- Petromonagas, Petrovictoria and Petromiranda --
that were hit by power failures and U.S. sanctions, according to
the people cited by Bloomberg. Rosneft now trades much of
Venezuela's oil from an office in Panama staffed with former PDVSA
employees.

Bloomberg says Rosneft receives oil as part of its joint ventures
with PDVSA, and also as repayment for loans. It's not subject to
U.S. sanctions that restrict American refiners from importing
Venezuelan crude. Most international oil companies and trading
houses have avoided buying oil from PDVSA since the sanctions were
imposed.

Precision Drilling de Venezuela, previously owned by Weatherford
International Plc and now wholly owned by Rosneft, is reaching out
to some local companies including holding discussions on scope of
work and potential payment in rubles, they said.

                           About PDVSA

Founded in 1976, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) is the
Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, which engages
in exploration, production, refining and exporting oil as well as
exploration and production of natural gas.  It employs around
70,000 people and reported $48 billion in revenues in 2016.

As reported in Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on June 3,
2019, Moody's Investors Service withdrew all the ratings of
Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. including the senior unsecured and
senior secured ratings due to insufficient information. At the time
of withdrawal, the ratings were C and the outlook was stable.

Citgo Petroleum Corporation (CITGO) is Venezuela's main foreign
asset.  CITGO is majority-owned by PDVSA.  CITGO is a United
States-based refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation
fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products.

However, CITGO formally cut ties with PDVSA at about February 2019
after U.S. sanctions were imposed on PDVSA.  The sanctions are
designed to curb oil revenues to the administration of President
Nicolas Maduro and support for the Juan Guaido-headed party.


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

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2019.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
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.


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