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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Asarco bidding war (was there ever one?) may be over...

Google News Alert for: asarco
Sterlite not to raise Asarco bid further
Business Standard - Mumbai,Maharashtra,India
The bidding war for Asarco, the US-based copper miner, may be over with Sterlite Industries contemplating not to increase its offer price further and ...
See all stories on this topic

"Sterlite is bidding for the assets while Group Mexico is bidding for the company, including its entire liability...There has also been a third bidder in the race. New York-based private equity (PE) fund Harbinger Capital Partners had submitted its bid of $500 million in cash and consumption of certain liabilities in May. The PE fund is a key Asarco bond holder but has not revised its offer. It is not expected to have much support from the creditors."

July 11, 2009 Labor News International Unions Escalate Mexico Solidarity

"On a five-day visit to Mexico this week, a delegation of several dozen labor leaders representing millions of workers from the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and South America renewed their backing of Mexican colleagues locked in conflicts with the federal government and the big transnational corporation Grupo Mexico...... ...Pro-Gomez union forces have charged that dissidents are manipulated by Grupo Mexico and anti-labor elements of the federal government....Accompanying the foreign visitors, Mexican senator and longtime human rights  activist Rosario Ibarra charged that almost 100 oil industry workers have “disappeared” since the advent of the Calderon presidency in 2006, because of labor disputes.

Sources: La Jornada, July 9, 10, 11, 2009. Articles by Patricia Munoz Rios
and Carolina Gomez Mena. International Federation of Chemical, Energy,
Mine and General Workers Unions, July 8 and 10, 2009. Press releases.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico
For a free electronic subscription email"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ex-DOJ Official Lied to Senate Committee, Broke Federal Laws

"Written by Jason Leopold Tuesday, 13 January 2009 12:26
A scathing report issued Tuesday by the Department of Justice's
inspector general found that a former top official in the agency's civil
rights division lied to a Senate committee and broke federal law by
using a political litmus test to hire and fire employees--a violation of
the very laws he was charged with upholding."

Dallas News: EPA echoes activists in challenging Texas' air pollution permits ...

Google Blogs Alert for: asarco
EPA echoes activists in challenging Texas' air pollution permits ...
By Senator Eliot Shapleigh
The EPA retains approval authority over state programs and can formally object to a state-issued permit, as it threatened to do in the case of Asarco's controversial copper smelter in El Paso. That threat came Feb. ...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

gambling debts in Bahamas, Las Vegas, Atlantic City

"Foreign investor Mikhail Katamanin, who in May was hit with a $12-million foreclosure lawsuit on his Highland Park mansion, filed a personal bankruptcy petition June 6 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago....  His debts are described as “primarily consumer,” and the list of creditors includes Atlantis at Paradise Island Resort & Casino in the Bahamas, Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Chicago lawyer Kori Bazanos, who represents Mr. Katamanin, declined to comment. Related story: Lender asserts claim on lakefront mansion"

"A Caribbean investment company has sued to collect on a $12-million loan ...the property is held in trust by Swiss company Asarco A.G., which Mr. Mikhail [Katamanin] controls, according to the complaint and public Irving Drobny, who represents Asarco, is out of the country until next week, according to employees at his office....The claim also is to be arbitrated in Switzerland, according to the complaint."

Irving Drobny is the same name as an attorney representing the imperial family of Vietnam.  A Chicago Attorney by that same name also serves as legal council for a Dallas Texas firm, "Transpacific Group" or TPEG. [" TPEG, headquarter in Dallas- Texas, with auxiliary office in HCMC, Vietnam, has played a very important role of great and effective business link and supports to enterprises and entrepreneurs in both sides of the Pacific."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


About Asarco's "clarification"  published in EP Times Tuesday July 7, 2009 (1B):   Rep. Reye's comments about that same GAO report said it all: "Asarco was able to hide its activities from El Pasoans...Asarco paid out millions of dollars on the condition that details of its activities would not be released to the public" (Reyes official statement Nov 13, 2007). 

Asarco still wants us to believe it didn't happen.  But in 2006 the Federal Government broke eight years of silence and gave me a formerly confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only EPA-DOJ Asarco document (NYTimes 10/06).  The EPA told the Federal Dept. of Justice, "THIS ACTIVITY PLAIN AND SIMPLE, WAS ILLEGAL TREATMENT and DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE." and that "IT APPEARS THAT ASARCO BENEFITED SUBSTANTIALLY" (google "secret asarco document" on the internet).  

Asarco signed the consent decree on conditions that details of what they had done would never become public.  The secret is out.  God only knows what poisons rained down on Cd. Juarez and the communities of Sunland Park and El Paso from those years of illegal activity.

Asarco's "clarification" is all about closure and not about disclosure.