The 8th Rock En Ñ annual tour of Latin America from Nov. 16 to Dec. 6 this year takes in four countries - Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia.

Organized by Spanish authors' and publishers' society SGAE, this year's participating artists include Melendi, Deluxe, Javier Vargas, Ariel Rot and La Excepción, and Coti.

Three of the artists are Spain-based Argentines. They say that without initiatives such as Rock En Ñ, it would be difficult for many Latin American artists living in Spain to perform again in their countries of origin because of financial reasons. "I've been dreaming of playing in Buenos Aires again for years, and this is fantastic," says Ariel Rot, who formed the Argentine-Spanish band Tequila in the 80s, and the Madrid-based Argentine-Spanish band Los Rodríguez in 1990.

Rock En Ñ was launched in 2000, and in its seven previous outings has visited 10 countries - three times to the United States - and 25 cities. More than 100 bands have performed in over 70 concerts.

"The fact that three Argentines are going this year reflects the fact that SGAE is not just a Spanish artist society, as we have thousands of Latin American members in countries like Cuba, for example," says Rock En Ñ organizer Xavier Novaes. "Rock En Ñ's aim is to emphasize the growing prestige and influence of 'rock en español' in a global market traditionally dominated by Anglo-Saxon artists."

Spanish artists Melendi and Deluxe will play an open-air festival on Nov. 17 with local bands Los Músicos de José, Los Gatos and San Pascualito Rey in Mexico City, in collaboration with the Spanish government-run Spanish Cultural Center. To coincide, EMI Mexico this month released a Melendi compilation album for Mexico only, and has launched the last Deluxe album in Mexico, called "Fin De Un Viaje Infinito".

Venezuelan capital Caracas hosts six days of Rock En Ñ activities between Nov. 19-24, encompassing many musical genres under the title "Ibero-America, the New Sound".

Rock En Ñ will end with a concert in Colombia by Argentine artist Coti in Bogota's 1,200-capacity Teatro Astor Plaza. Coti will tour several Latin American countries around that date.