Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Final Message From Mexico Gulf Reporter

It is with very great sadness that I would like to inform you of the following:

Edward Vincent Byrne passed away on March 24, 2015. Ed was diagnosed with Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in June 2014. After 6 months of aggressive chemotherapy, he was declared 100% in remission. Over Christmas 2014, Ed received a stem cell transplant from his brother, Bill Byrne, who was a perfect match. It is believed that a stem cell transplant is the only way to ensure that this rare form of lymphoma will not return. Ed's transplant was successful for several weeks - his blood counts were moving in a positive direction. However, his weakness and overall change in mood were apparent. As the weeks went on, Ed continually declined. He was able to attend his only child's wedding - Sarah Lillian - in Las Vegas, NV on February 28, 2015. This was Ed's last "good day". The following week, he was admitted to the hospital with stomach pains. During this final hospital stay, his blood counts began to decline and never recovered. Ultimately his cause of death was angiopathy, followed by kidney failure - eventually resulting in respiratory failure at 7:00 am on the morning of March 24. Ed's daughter Sarah and her husband Marc were by his side at the moment of death. Ed passed away surrounded by much love and many prayers.

I apologize that it has taken me so long to post this update. I continue to receive emails with questions from his readers - thank you all, so much. My dad was such a dear friend to many, and it saddens me that after today, this blog will have no further posts. I take comfort in knowing that his writing and stories will remain on this blog permanently.

If you so wish, please do consider a memorial donation in Ed's name to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or

Thank you for your readership, your dedication, and your patience. My dad appreciated each and every one of you.

Until we all meet in a far more beautiful place,

Sarah Penner
Wichita, KS

Friday, March 20, 2015

Update from Ed Byrne's Daughter

Good day all,

My name is Sarah Penner and I am Ed Byrne's daughter. As you have noticed, Ed's posts on MGR have drastically decreased in recent months. This is because my dad has been experiencing significant medical issues. He is currently hospitalized.

My family appreciates your prayers and positive thoughts at this time. We are hoping for a positive outcome.

Sarah Penner

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Iguala student remains unlikely ever to be identified

Guadalajara -
The office of Mexico's federal attorney general (PGR) reported today that human remains found last fall in a trash dump near Cocula in Guerrero state are unlikely ever to be identified.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mexican teachers flunk The Test by a large margin

Guadalajara -
Planned reforms to Mexico's decrepit primary and secondary educational systems were among the very first announced by the Institutional Revolutionary Party administration of president Enrique Peña Nieto after he took office on Dec. 1, 2012. They passed the lower legislative chamber, the Cámara de Diputados, by a vote of 390-69 on Sept. 2, 2013 and they cleared the Senate 24 hours later on a vote of 102-22. The constitutionally based reforms prohibit the buying, selling and bequeathing of teaching positions, and will require all new hires to pass a preparedness and competency evaluation beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. Even vested teachers will be subject to periodic retesting. Those who are unable to meet education standards after two attempts will be transferred to administrative positions, or dismissed.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Prime suspect in Iguala student massacre moves one step closer to trial

*Updated Jan. 6*
Guadalajara -
Two months after she was taken into custody in a dilapidated house in Mexico City, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, wife of former Iguala, Guerrero mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez, was transported today to a women's penal facility at Tepic, in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit.

A federal judge issued a formal warrant for her arrest on charges of organized crime participation, money laundering and exerting control over illegally acquired funds.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

In surprise move, Vatican names archbishop from Morelia, Michoacán, as one of 20 new cardinals

Guadalajara -
Alberto Suárez Inda, archbishop of Morelia in Michoacán state, was today named a cardinal by Pope Francis during a ceremony in Rome.

Suárez, who along with 19 others will be elevated to the Roman Catholic Church's second highest post on Feb. 14, is the first cardinal ever to be selected from Michoacán.

Suárez was born Jan. 30, 1939. Almost a year ago he submitted his mandatory resignation to Rome on turning 75, in accordance with canon law. But the Vatican never acted on it. Now he will join the Church's ultra prestigious 200 member College of Cardinals, a body which directly advises the Pope on a wide array of theological and liturgical matters, and which runs the Vatican ship of state.

Friday, January 2, 2015

While oil prices fall, Mexico's tourist economy surges

Record levels reached in 2014

Guadalajara -
Mexico's Dept. of Tourism (Sectur) reported today that more than 28 million people visited this country in 2014, leaving behind an estimated windfall of $16 billion U.S. dollars.

In a year otherwise filled with gloomy economic news, tourism emerged unscathed, and is helping to sustain Mexico's challenged national economy.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Havana ushers in 56th year of the Cuban revolution

"El marxismo me enseñó cómo era la sociedad. Era como un hombre con los ojos vendados en un bosque, que ni siquiera sabe dónde está el norte o hacia el sur es. Si usted no tiene el tiempo llega a comprender realmente la historia de la lucha de clases, o por lo menos tener una idea clara de que la sociedad está dividida entre los ricos y los pobres, y que algunas personas subyugar y explotar a los demás, estás perdido en un bosque, sin saber nada -

"Marxism taught me what society was. I was like a blindfolded man in a forest, who doesn't even know where north or south is. If you don't eventually come to truly understand the history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people subjugate and exploit other people, you're lost in a forest, not knowing anything." - Fidel Castro, quoted in My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, by Ignacio Ramonet (2009).

Guadalajara -
From an MGR post on Oct. 26, 2011:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Independent political candidates will take on party professionals in Mexico's 2015 mid-term elections

Guadalajara -
Mexico will hold the U.S. equivalent of mid-term elections on June 7, 2015, when all 500 seats of the House of Deputies, the lower legislative assembly, will be open for grabs. And for the first time in almost 70 years, independent candidates not affiliated with any political party will be allowed to participate.

In a year which has been devastatingly difficult for the ruling, center left Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the far left Democratic Revolution Party, many are curious to see how independents will fare. Over 120 - potentially a fourth of its membership - have announced plans to run for the Cámara de Diputados.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Catholic priest kidnapped in Guerrero found murdered

Guadalajara -
A Roman Catholic priest kidnapped late Sunday evening in the Mexican state of Guerrero has been found dead near Ciudad Altamirano, authorities there have reported.

Gregorio López Gorrostieta, 39, was seized Dec. 21 by an armed commando team after teaching a class at a local seminary. No ransom for his release was ever demanded.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

41,000 dead on Enrique Peña Nieto's watch

Guadalajara -
In the 23 month period beginning Dec. 1, 2012 and ending Oct. 31, 2014, Mexico recorded 41,015 homicides, according to the Tijuana based news magazine Zeta and the Milenio network this month.

With a population of about 120 million people, that equates to 34.2 murders per 100,000 residents, a common international standard for measuring criminal violence.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mexican states each owe on average $34.27 billion USD

Local government spending continues to run amock

Guadalajara -
Almost three years ago MGR reported that "state indebtedness now equals about 70% of federal revenue sharing entitlements. Mexico's 32 states sustain themselves, in large part, with funds from the federal government (based upon population and other factors). Most of what they're entitled to is now pledged to banks, bondholders and investors as security for long term indebtedness, leaving little room for economic development." Increasing poverty and rising state debt result in poor economic report for Mexico (Feb. 10, 2012).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mexican Ambassador to the U.K. responds to Proceso's Big Lie

More journalistic GIGO - garbage in, garbage out

Guadalajara -
Last week Mexico's sensationalist Proceso News Magazine, a checkout line tabloid rivaling the National Inquirer, published an article implying Mexico's federal government - all the way up to the president himself, perhaps - knew of the kidnapping and execution of 43 college students in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26. in real time, as the brutal events were actually unfolding.

Here is an electronic redaction of that story in Spanish: Iguala: la Historia no Official.

The wild account - thick on icing but almost devoid of cake - was quickly picked up by some in the foreign press, including the always gossipy Huffington Post and the U.K.'s respected and usually reliable The Guardian, which carried the evidence-lacking story under the eye-catching headline, "Mexico authorities ‘knew about attack on students as it happened’."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mexican minimum wage in 2015 will be $4.68 USD daily

*Content updated Dec. 21*
Guadalajara -
Mexico's National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami) decided Friday to recommend the raising of mandatory 2015 compensation by 4.25%, slightly above the anticipated 3.54% inflation predicted for the year ahead by the nation's central bank, the Bank of Mexico (Banixco).

Friday, December 19, 2014

Radical students and teachers detain Acapulco's mayor, releasing him only after a fierce harangue

Guadalajara -
Despite the presence of thousands of federal troops and police in Mexico's largest Pacific coast resort the week before Christmas, not even its mayor is safe.

Radical students and teachers seized Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton around noon today, just after he exited a holiday reception ceremony at the city's international airport. Walton is a member of the far left Citizens Movement political party, and was elected in 2012.