Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is an NPR international correspondent covering South America for NPR. She is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Previously, she served a NPR's correspondent based in Israel, reporting on stories happening throughout the Middle East. She was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began and spent months painting a deep and vivid portrait of a country at war. Often at great personal risk, Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage and humanity.

For her work covering the Arab Spring, Garcia-Navarro was awarded a 2011 George Foster Peabody Award, a Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club, and an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Alliance for Women and the Media's Gracie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.

Before her assignment to Jerusalem began in 2009, Garcia-Navarro served for more than a year as NPR News' Baghdad Bureau Chief and before that three years as NPR's foreign correspondent in Mexico City, reporting from that region as well as on special assignments abroad.

Garcia-Navarro got her start in journalism as a freelancer with the BBC World Service and Voice of America, reporting from Cuba, Syria, Panama and Europe. She later became a producer for Associated Press Television News before transitioning to AP Radio. While there, Garcia-Navarro covered post-Sept. 11 events in Afghanistan and developments in Jerusalem. In 2002, she began a two-year reporting stint based in Iraq.

In addition to the Murrow award, Garcia-Navarro was honored with the 2006 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for a two-part series "Migrants' Job Search Empties Mexican Community." She contributed to NPR News reporting on Iraq, which was recognized with a 2005 Peabody Award and a 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton.

Garcia-Navarro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from Georgetown University and an Master of Arts degree in journalism from City University in London.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Brazil Furious Over Ad Showing Christ The Redeemer In An Italian Jersey

A video image from an advertisement run by Italian state broadcaster RAI showing Christ the Redeemer in an Italian soccer jersey.
YouTube

It's the most iconic image of Brazil: the Christ the Redeemer statue, perched atop Rio de Janiero, looking down with his arms spread wide in love and understanding.

Now imagine the towering figure wearing a soccer jersey — and not even Brazil's.

Controversy has broken out over an Italian TV advertisement for the World Cup that shows the sculpture draped in the blue jersey of the Azzurri, or Italy's national team, and featuring the slogan "Brazil awaits us."

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Sports
4:25 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Soccer Fans Eager To Get World Cup Action Underway

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 8:48 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Latin America
3:33 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

With 2 Days Till Kickoff, World Cup Host City Is Stricken By Strike

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 11:12 pm

The World Cup kicks off in two days, and fans are pouring into Brazil. But in Sao Paulo, the site of the opening game, metro workers are striking over pay, fueling fierce clashes.

NPR Story
5:42 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Scientist Touts Exoskeleton That Could Offer A Chance To Walk Again

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 12:20 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This Thursday, the eyes of the world will be on Brazil during the World Cup's opening ceremony. And there'll be a remarkable moment during that event. From São Paulo, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Striking Train Workers Add To Brazil's World Cup Woes

There was chaos at the Corinthians-Itaquera subway station on the east side of Sao Paulo on Thursday, as workers went on strike.
Werther Santana DPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 3:05 pm

First came the bus strike. Then came the teachers. Now it's the train workers' turn.

Sao Paulo will see the kickoff to the World Cup next week, but with only a few days to go, it's chaos on the streets of South America's biggest city.

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Parallels
2:34 am
Thu June 5, 2014

As Brazil Barrels Toward World Cup, Brazilians Aren't Feeling It

Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, holds a test match Sunday ahead of the World Cup. One fan who attended said the country "didn't deliver" and isn't ready for the event.
Migquel Schincariol AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:47 pm

The stadium where the opening game of the World Cup will be played is a gleaming monument to the world's favorite sport, soccer. The Corinthians Arena — named after one of Brazil's most famous teams, which will take it over — has been built from scratch and boasts a massive LCD screen and state-of-the-art facilities.

Last weekend, it was full of fans watching the last test match before the World Cup begins. It was supposed to be a sort of final run-through to make sure everything is ready and working.

Except it wasn't.

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Latin America
3:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

As World Cup Approaches, Brazilians Aren't Exactly Thrilled

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 7:03 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Just nine days to go before the World Cup soccer tournament begins in Brazil. And a poll released today by the Pew Research Center shows that the mood among Brazilians is grim. NPR's Lordes Garcia-Navarro reports a country that seemed to be taking off just a few years ago feels like it's crashing, instead.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken).

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Shots - Health News
4:16 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Ready, Set, Spray! Brazil Battles Dengue Ahead Of The World Cup

The World Cup will come to the Arena de Sao Paola, shown here when it was under construction last fall. Brazil is also making a big push to control the local mosquitoes that can spread dengue fever.
Friedemann Vogel Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

In Sao Paulo's poor north zone, in the neighborhood of Tucuruvi, teams of city workers knock on doors, warning people to take pets and small children out of the area.

Quickly after, men in hazmat suits with metal cylinders strapped to their backs start spraying the street, and some of the interiors of the homes, with powerful pesticides. This is the front line of the war on dengue fever in Brazil's largest city.

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Parallels
3:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

For Brazil's Soccer Stars, Careers Often Begin On Makeshift Fields

Brazilian kids play soccer in a favela, or shantytown, in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. Brazil is hosting the World Cup next month and its team is considered the favorite. Many of the country's top players learned the game playing in the street or on dirt fields.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 7:54 pm

The road to World Cup glory in Brazil doesn't start in fancy soccer clubs or private schoolyards. It often begins in places like this poor neighborhood called Rio Pequeno in Sao Paulo and on a dirt lot, where a group of children are playing soccer.

Brazil is hosting the World Cup, which starts in less than a month, and the country is also favored to win. Brazil is already a five-time champion and it has played in every World Cup since the tournament's inception.

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Latin America
3:04 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

A Postcard From Rio, Where World Cup Readiness Remains Uncertain

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Soccer fans are counting down. Forty-seven days to go until the World Cup in Brazil. The country is in the news again but not for the reasons it might want. In one of the key host cities, Rio de Janeiro, riots broke out in a major tourist area earlier this week. Big questions over the readiness of stadiums and infrastructure also remain. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is our South America correspondent, and she's with us today in our D.C. studios. Lourdes, nice to have you here.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: It's great to be here.

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Music Interviews
3:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Emicida: 'People Sample What Is Nearest To Them'

Emicida.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 5:42 pm

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Parallels
1:16 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

How Bad Is Brazil's Crime? Watch This Mugging On Live TV

YouTube

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 8:11 pm

Brazil's Globo TV set out to do a simple story about how bad street crime is in Rio de Janeiro, and it quickly got an answer.

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Parallels
4:09 am
Sun March 30, 2014

A Few More Thoughts On Sexism In Latin America

Demonstrators rally to protest sexism in Brasilia, Brazil, last June. A new protest erupted last week after a study released by Brazil's Institute for Applied Economic Research reported 65 percent of Brazilians believe women who dress provocatively deserve to be attacked.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:31 pm

Editor's Note: NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who has worked extensively in the Latin America and the Middle East, recently compared the sexism she found in both places. You can read her original essay here. It sparked a strong response from readers, and we asked her to address a number of those issues.

A man throws acid on a woman's face. A mother is killed because her partner believes she slept with another man.

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Parallels
4:07 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Short On Dollars, Venezuela Tries To Halt Black-Market Trading

Venezuelans line up to buy goods at a store in Caracas on March 10. Protesters have been taking to the streets for weeks over the country's troubled economy and other issues. The government introduced a new foreign currency exchange system on Monday, seeking to stabilize the bolivar, which has lost much of its value against the U.S. dollar.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:45 pm

The Venezuelan capital, Caracas, can be one of the most expensive cities in the world — or one of the cheapest. It all depends on how you exchange your dollars.

At a fast food restaurant in the city recently, a pretty tasty plate of chicken and rice cost me 160 bolivars. At the official exchange rate set by the government, that works out to a little more than $25; at the black market rate, it's just $2.

Needless to say, most anyone who can change money on the black market in Venezuela does so.

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Latin America
5:37 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Opposition Fails To Maintain Momentum In Venezuela

Venezuela has cracked down on student protests, leaving 29 people dead. The main square in Caracas, where protesters were based, has been dismantled. The opposition is divided over what to do next.

Latin America
11:57 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Venezuela In Turmoil For Lack Of Flour, Milk And Diapers

People line up to buy goods at a store in Caracas, Venezuela.
LEO RAMIREZ AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:20 pm

Alvaro Villarueda starts his morning the same way every day — putting in a call to his friend who has a friend who works at a Caracas, Venezuela, supermarket.

Today, he's looking for sugar, and he's asking his friend if he knows if any shipments have arrived. As he talks on the phone, his wife Lisbeth Nello, is in the kitchen.

There are 10 mouths to feed every day in this family — five of them children. The two youngest are still in diapers.

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Parallels
4:13 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Which Place Is More Sexist: The Middle East Or Latin America?

On the left: Women wearing burqas walk by the Gulf of Aqaba in Jordan in 2006. Right: Women in bikinis visit a beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2013.
Marco Di Fabio and Nelson Almeida Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:57 pm

A semi-naked woman in a sequined Carnival costume. A veiled woman with only her eyes showing in a niqab. Two stereotypes of two vastly different regions — Latin America and the Middle East.

On the surface, these two images couldn't be more diametrically opposed. What could the two have in common, right? What a woman wears — or what she doesn't wear, in Brazil's case — is often interpreted as a sign of her emancipation. The veil, for many, is a symbol of female oppression; the right to wear a bikini, one of liberation.

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Latin America
3:18 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

World Cup Woes Loom For One Brazilian City

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 5:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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History
6:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Carnaval In Recife: Long History, Interesting Future

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:30 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. It's Carnaval in Brazil - that time of the year when people take to the streets and celebrate before the austerity of Lent begins. And while you may think the Rio de Janeiro when you think of Carnaval, we're going to take you north to Recife. It's considered one of the most diverse carnivals in Brazil. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Recife.

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Music News
3:02 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

From Recife, Brazil, 3 Rhythms Get The Carnival Party Started

Colorful umbrellas long ago replaced concealed knives during frevo parades.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 7:23 am

It's Carnival this weekend in Brazil. While it costs hundreds of dollars just to get a bad seat in Rio de Janeiro, the northern city of Recife hosts the most unique and varied celebration in the country, with two million people expected to attend.

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Parallels
2:25 am
Thu February 27, 2014

As Brazil Gears Up For Olympics, Some Poor Families Get Moved Out

The Terni apartment complex in Rio de Janeiro's far west zone of Campo Grande. Many residents were relocated to this area because their old neighborhoods were knocked down to make way for building projects related to the Olympics.
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:16 am

Jeane Tomas scraped all her money together to build a house where she could raise her son. She'd been renting in the favela, or shanty town, of Vila Harmonia and wanted to put down roots in the community where she lived when her child was born.

The house went up — only to quickly come down.

"There is this frustration to have worked so hard, dreamed so much to leave everything behind," she said.

Now that the Winter Olympics in Sochi are over attention will be turning to Brazil, the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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Latin America
4:19 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Drought Could Drain More Than Brazil's Coffee Crop

The ground outside Sao Paulo is cracked and dry. It was the hottest January on record in parts of Brazil, and the heat plus a severe drought has fanned fears of water shortages and crop damage.
Nacho Doce Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:01 am

Brazil, a country usually known for its rainforests, has been facing a severe drought in its breadbasket region, leaving people in the cities without water and farmers in the countryside with dying crops. Global prices for coffee, in particular, have been affected.

Scientists in Brazil say the worst is yet to come — yet no one in the government, it seems, is listening.

On a recent day, farmer Juliano Jose Polidor walks through the desiccated remains of his cornfields.

What's happened to this crop, he says, is a total loss.

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Parallels
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Olympics Set To Transform Rio — But For Better Or Worse?

Local authorities celebrate a demolition explosion that's part of Rio's Porto Maravilha urbanization project, in Rio de Janeiro, on Nov. 24, 2013. The state- and federal-supported project is part of the city's redevelopment ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Pilar Olivares Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:36 pm

Rio de Janeiro is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and there are two starkly different visions of what that will mean for the "marvelous city," as it is known.

"I would love to be born in Rio in 2020. The babies that are born here in 2020 will be born in a marvelous city ... because of the games," says Leonardo Gryner, the chief operating officer of Rio's Olympic Organizing Committee.

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Parallels
2:35 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Samba School Murder Exposes The Dark Side Of Rio's Carnival

Viviane Araujo, a Salguiero samba school queen, performs at a rehearsal for Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Marcello da Cunha Freire, vice president of the popular samba school, was murdered last month in a drive-by shooting.
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 8:44 am

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a glittering affair that attracts tourists from all over the world. There is, however, a murky and sometimes violent underbelly to the celebrations that recently came under the spotlight after the murder of a top samba school official.

One evening last month, Marcello da Cunha Freire was leaving his office in Rio's Vila Isabel neighborhood when a car pulled up next to him.

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Sports
9:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

U.S. Team Trains In Brazil To Prepare For World Cup

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:14 am

The U.S. World Cup soccer team is in Brazil for 12 days of training and acclimation. The team drew a challenging schedule for the competition and will be playing in the northern cities of Natal and Recife as well as the Amazonian city of Manaus.

Latin America
4:27 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Ahead Of World Cup, Brazil's Delays Have FIFA Concerned

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Just six months to go until Brazil hosts soccer's biggest tournament, the World Cup, and for Brazil, it is crunch time. Just yesterday, soccer's governing body, FIFA, issued a stark warning. One of the host cities is now in jeopardy of being dropped because its stadium is hugely delayed. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Sao Paulo on Brazil's mad scramble to get everything done on time.

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Parallels
2:31 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Even In Snowden-Friendly Brazil, Asylum May Be 'Bridge Too Far'

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks in Sao Paulo on Dec. 19, framed by posters held by protesters calling for asylum for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Andre Penner AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:21 am

Should they or shouldn't they? That's the question Brazilians are asking themselves after Edward Snowden's "open letter" lauding Brazil's role in protecting privacy rights and alluding to his hand in uncovering spying on their president.

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The Salt
2:06 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Amazon Locavore: Meet The Man Putting Brazilian Food On The Map

Brazilian chef Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this year.
Cassio Vasconcellos AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:03 am

He was named one of the most influential people by Time magazine this past year.

Now Alex Atala, whose restaurant, D.O.M., is ranked among the top 10 in the world, is putting a new kind of Brazilian food on the map.

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Latin America
2:01 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Brazil's Social Media Boom Sparks Calls For New Privacy Laws

Social media is booming in Brazil, which has become a major market for both Facebook and Twitter. But Brazilian law is still in flux, and legislation is only just being created to deal with the rise of social media.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 10:59 am

The use of social media is exploding in Brazil. It's the third largest market for Facebook and the fifth largest for Twitter.

The controversial women-only app Lulu recently launched here and quickly became the top downloaded app in the country, making Brazil Lulu's biggest market.

"I think it is cool because it's a social network for what all women throughout history have always done — talk about the guys we like, the guys we think are handsome," says 20-year-old Marcela, as she taps away at the Lulu app on her iPhone.

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Parallels
2:06 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Brazil's Post Offices Help Deliver Christmas Wishes

Volunteers look through children's letters to Santa at a post office in Salvador in northeastern Brazil's Bahia state. The campaign is part of a more than 20-year tradition to help those less fortunate to have gifts for the holiday.
Raul Spinasse DPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:47 pm

"Dear Father Christmas," the letter reads, "my name is Larissa. I know that you are very busy and that you live a long way away in the North Pole, but I'd like to ask you for a gift because my mother doesn't have enough money to buy what I want."

There are piles of similar letters — many decorated with stickers, drawings and hand prints — lying on makeshift tables in the main hall of the post office in downtown Sao Paulo.

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