BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Mining company Asarco's fight to
recover billions of dollars began today in civil court in
Asacro attorney Irvin Terrell (tuh-REL'), in opening statements,
described parent Grupo Mexico as a greedy company that did all it
could to strip Asarco of its "crown jewel." That was a
controlling stake in Southern Peru Copper.
Terrell says the leaders of Grupo Mexico knew that transferring
Asarco's most valuable asset to Americas Mining would leave the
company with a gaping hole in its cash flow.
But in the defense's opening statement, attorney Brian Antweil
tried to humanize German Larrea -- who heads up Grupo Mexico -- as
a businessman struggling through a downturn in copper prices.
Antweil says that Larrea would testify that his biggest mistake
in life was allowing Asarco to file for bankruptcy.
On the line in this trial will be a chance for a long list of
Asarco's creditors -- to get paid.
Grupo Mexico acquired Asarco in 1999.
Asarco, which operates three mines and a smelter in Arizona, as
well as a copper refinery in Amarillo, filed for bankruptcy in
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)