Tim Johnson

253,000 U.S. guns smuggled to Mexico annually, study finds

Some 2.2 percent of all U.S. gun sales are made to smuggling rings that take firearms to Mexico, a scale of illegal trafficking that’s “much higher than widely assumed,” an academic study released Monday found. | 03/18/13 18:44:10 By - By Tim Johnson

UN predicts huge expansion of wealth in developing world that will shift power

The middle class is growing – just not in the United States or Europe – but in the far reaches of the globe, a change that very likely will move power away from the world’s current centers of prosperity, a United Nations study released Thursday concludes. | 03/14/13 16:29:53 By - By Tim Johnson

Poised yet savage, blogger Yoani Sanchez takes on Cuba’s sclerotic Castro regime

The shouts could be heard easily inside the hotel where Yoani Sanchez was appearing over the weekend. “Down with Yoani!” they resonated from a small clique of pro-Castro protesters who’d gathered outside. | 03/11/13 16:19:55 By - By Tim Johnson

Mexico moves to open up telecom industry long dominated by monopolies

Leaders of Mexico’s three major political parties launched a sweeping proposal Monday to break open the highly monopolistic telecommunications sector, calling for new laws that would create competition to the established companies that now control the nation’s broadcast and cable television, Internet access, and fixed line and cellular telephones. | 03/11/13 19:09:06 By - By Tim Johnson

Cubans evade censorship by exchanging computer memory sticks, blogger says

Dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez on Saturday told newspaper publishers from around the Western Hemisphere that “nothing is changing” in Cuba’s ossified political system and that “the situation of press freedom in my country is calamitous.” | 03/09/13 17:31:55 By - By Tim Johnson

Ex-world leaders: Time for U.S. to rethink drug policy as states ease marijuana laws

Three former heads of state are urging the United States to engage in a serious discussion of drug legalization, saying its counternarcotics policies are becoming untenable in the wake of voter approval last fall of measures that legalized the recreational use of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado. | 03/08/13 17:16:14 By - By Tim Johnson

Many in Latin America fear Hugo Chavez’s death will end Venezuela’s Santa role

Some 17 countries gained benefits under Hugo Chavez’s Petrocaribe program, under which Venezuela sent about 10 percent of its crude oil production to member states under generous terms. It permitted them to repay in part in goods or services – sugar, beans, rice – rather than in cash. Many now wonder about the program’s future. | 03/06/13 19:41:47 By - By Tim Johnson and Vinod Sreeharsha

Mexican families struggle to bring attention to those who’ve disappeared

Rogelio Elizondo’s son went to buy a used car in Nuevo Laredo two years ago. He never came back. In much of Mexico, Elizondo’s tragedy would remain the anguish of a solitary family in a country where the problem of ‘disappeared’ people is worse than anyplace else in the Western Hemisphere. But a slightly more positive story is unfolding. Elizondo joined with scores of other families looking into the cases of 298 missing persons in his state of Coahuila. The families raised a clamor. They met with the governor, who agreed to set up a special prosecutor’s office for the disappeared. And the fears of relatives melted somewhat as their ranks grew. | 03/05/13 18:45:32 By - By Tim Johnson

If Mexico wants to launch anti-corruption crusade, there are plenty of officials to go after

The daughter of the boss of Mexico’s powerful oil workers union made a youthful indiscretion when she went to Europe last year: She posted photos of her lavish odyssey on Facebook. | 03/04/13 00:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

Arrest of Mexico teacher union boss Elba Esther Gordillo seen as a warning to foes of reform

Mexico’s political world rippled from the imprisonment of Elba Esther Gordillo, the powerful 68-year-old “president for life” of the 1.5 million-member national teachers’ union, the largest such union in the hemisphere. | 02/27/13 17:05:05 By - By Tim Johnson

Mexico arrests Elba Esther Gordillo, powerful teachers union boss, on corruption charges

Mexican authorities Tuesday announced the arrest on corruption charges of Elba Esther Gordillo, the mighty head of the national teachers’ union, striking a blow against one of the country’s most despised, but also most powerful political figures. | 02/26/13 23:02:57 By - By Tim Johnson

Another false alarm; search goes on for Mexican drug lord Chapo Guzman

Was it Elvis? How about D.B. Cooper? Or could it have been Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the world’s most wanted man? Supposed sightings of the fugitive Mexican drug boss are growing in frequency, adding to his legend. | 02/22/13 14:56:18 By - By Tim Johnson

Mexico’s war on crime now ranks among Latin America’s bloodiest conflicts

The revelation that as many as 27,000 people may have gone missing in Mexico in recent years renews attention to the huge human toll left by the war on crime that former President Felipe Calderon waged during his six years in office. | 02/21/13 18:08:51 By - By Tim Johnson

Mexico admits 27,000 missing; Human Rights Watch protests crisis of ‘disappeared’

Mexico said Wednesday that it had records of more than 27,000 cases of “disappeared people” that it would make public soon in an effort to clarify the circumstances under which they vanished. | 02/20/13 19:01:29 By - By Tim Johnson

To give or to keep? Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Mexico’s Carlos Slim follow different paths

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is famed for his philanthropy. Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican tycoon, is not. This week, they stood together at a research center here, drawing attention to their different approaches to giving their wealth away. | 02/14/13 17:28:12 By - By Tim Johnson

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BOOK: TRAGEDY IN CRIMSON

"Tragedy in Crimson" is award-winning journalist Tim Johnson’s account of the cat-and-mouse game embroiling China and the Tibetan exile community over Tibet.

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