Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is most at home when she's on the move. Born in London, the journalist has lived in the United States, Colombia, Afghanistan, Israel and Mexico City. She currently covers the Middle East for NPR, and is based in Jerusalem.

After covering Iraq as NPR News' Baghdad Bureau Chief since February 2008, Garcia-Navarro made another move: relocating to Israel in April 2009 to become NPR's correspondent based in Jerusalem.

Prior to reporting from Baghdad, Garcia-Navarro spent three years as NPR's foreign correspondent in Mexico City, reporting from that region as well as on special assignments abroad. Her depth of reporting brought an insider's cultivated perspective to a territory that also embraces her family's roots (incidentally, her parents are from the region).

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 (APTN) before transitioning to AP Radio. While there, Garcia-Navarro covered post-Sept. 11 events in Afghanistan and developments in Jerusalem. From 2002 to 2004, she was based in Iraq.

Why journalism? Garcia-Navarro says that she likes "to tell people's stories, to make their lives real and vivid," adding that it's "an important job and I love doing it."

Garcia-Navarro holds a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University and an M.A. in journalism from City University in London. She was the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize in 2006 for a two-part series "Migrants' Job Search Empties Mexican Community," and also shared in two awards honoring NPR News' Iraq reporting: a Peabody Award in 2005, and a 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

Pages

11:02am

Sun June 14, 2015
Parallels

Brazilians Take A Swing At Mosquitoes With The Zap Racket

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 3:03 pm

Pots with genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are pictured before they are released in Piracicaba, Brazil in April.
Paulo Whitaker Reuters /Landov

It's summer right now and I'm sure you've noticed them: small, insidious buzzing — mosquitoes. In Brazil, they are potentially deadly. It's the place where the mosquito-born virus dengue fever is most prevalent.

Enter the Zapping Racket. As the name implies, it is an electrified tennis racket that kills mosquitoes.

I know, right? Genius.

Read more

8:32pm

Fri May 22, 2015
Parallels

Expats Find Brazil's Reputation For Race-Blindness Is Undone By Reality

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 11:48 am

American Ky Adderley (center) with his wife, Shanna Farrar Adderley, and their daughter, Gisela Sky, live in Brazil. He says being an educated black man feels like a subversive act in Brazil. "All the blacks that I see are in service jobs, and the darker you are, the less you are seen," he says. "Your job is maybe back in the kitchen and not out waiting a table."
Courtesy of Ky Adderly

There is a joke among Brazilians that a Brazilian passport is the most coveted on the black market because no matter what your background — Asian, African or European — you can fit in here. But the reality is very different.

I'm sitting in café with two women who don't want their names used because of the sensitivity of the topic. One is from the Caribbean; her husband is an expat executive.

"I was expecting to be the average-looking Brazilian; Brazil as you see on the media is not what I experienced when I arrived," she tells me.

Read more

8:32am

Sun May 17, 2015
The Salt

Assault On Salt: Uruguay Bans Shakers In Restaurants And Schools

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 2:51 pm

A typical Uruguayan asado, or barbecue, is made up of vast racks of prime cuts of beef, pork or chicken roasted on a grill next to — not on top of — a wood burning fire.

At parilla restaurants across the capitol Montevideo, the asados are pretty epic; the fatty cuts sizzle and then get slapped onto your plate, oozing with juice.

But if you want to grab a salt shaker and add a bit of extra salt to your meal these days in the Uruguayan capital, you can't.

Read more

9:00pm

Mon May 11, 2015
Parallels

Brazil's World Cup Legacy Includes $550M Stadium-Turned-Parking Lot

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 10:20 am

Brazil spent billions renovating and building World Cup stadiums. Almost a year after the tournament ended, the nation is still trying to figure out what to do with them. The Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil (shown here in April 2014), was the most expensive of the stadiums — at a cost of $550 million — and is now being used as a bus parking lot.
Eraldo Peres AP

It has been almost a year since the World Cup in Brazil. The party is long over, but the country is still dealing with the hangover — in the form of "white elephant" stadiums and unfinished infrastructure projects. They come at a time when the country faces economic woes and the prospect of another expensive mega event: next year's summer Olympics.

The most expensive World Cup stadium — located in the capital, Brasilia, and with a price tag of $550 million — is being used as a parking lot for buses.

Read more

4:38am

Fri May 8, 2015
Parallels

Once Philip Morris Workers, Now They Clamp Down On Uruguay's Smokers

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 8:22 am

Daniel Gomez (from left), Lister Sena and Ricardo Alvarez were laid off after working for years with Philip Morris in Uruguay. They are now inspectors enforcing the country's tough anti-smoking laws.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro NPR

The tiny nation of Uruguay is fighting a big opponent – the tobacco giant Philip Morris. Their legal battle is over tough anti-smoking legislation enacted in Uruguay which Philip Morris is trying to overturn.

But Uruguay has found some unlikely allies – a group of former Philip Morris workers.

Read more

5:25pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Parallels

Ex-Gitmo Detainees In Uruguay Protest At U.S. Embassy

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:19 pm

Former Guantanamo prison inmates walk between their tents and the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay's capital, where four former prisoners are protesting what they say is an inadequate deal in exchange for permanent asylum.
Pablo Porciuncula AFP/Getty Images

When six Middle Eastern prisoners were freed from Guantanamo Bay prison and given refuge by the tiny South American country of Uruguay in December, they were grateful.

But four months later, four of them are camping outside the U.S. Embassy protesting as inadequate the deal they've been offered in exchange for permanent asylum.

Three small tents have been pitched on the smooth green lawn in front of the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay's capital.

Read more

3:01pm

Wed April 22, 2015
Parallels

Of Fruit Hats And 'Happy Tropics,' A Renaissance For Carmen Miranda

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 6:12 pm

During her lifetime, singer and dancer Carmen Miranda (shown here in a dressing room at the London Palladium in 1948) was a huge success in the United States, but rejected at home in Brazil as a sellout.
George Konig Keystone Features/Getty Images

Known for her outrageous costumes and beautiful voice, Brazilian performer Carmen Miranda was the highest-earning woman in Hollywood in the 1940s.

Read more

4:01am

Thu April 2, 2015
Parallels

Huge Scandal At Top Of Petrobras Trickles Down, With Devastating Effect

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 4:14 pm

People, most of them unemployed, line up March 19 at a popular Itaborai, Brazil, restaurant where they can have lunch for about 30 cents. The Petrobras refinery and processing plant on the outskirts of town has been shut down; tens of thousands are now out of work in the area.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

I meet Joao Jesus outside the local labor tribunal in the Brazilian town of Itaborai, east of Rio de Janeiro.

"This morning I wasn't able to give my kids breakfast," he says, in a way that suggests he can hardly believe it himself.

Financial crises often get spoken about in the nameless, faceless lingo of "world market downturns" or "changing patterns of consumption" — but the crisis engulfing Brazil and its state oil company, Petrobras, has names and faces.

Read more

3:59pm

Mon March 30, 2015
Parallels

Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:48 pm

Cholita, an Andean bear, was abused in a circus in Peru and is now in a small zoo. An animal welfare group has now received permission to take Cholita to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado, along with more than 30 former circus lions.
Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

A badly abused Peruvian bear named Cholita is coming to a sanctuary in Colorado. Animal Defenders International announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited the request and she will be on her way next month.

Read more

7:39am

Sat March 28, 2015
Latin America

In Argentina, Friends, Families Torn Apart By Political Discord

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

5:07pm

Fri March 27, 2015
Parallels

After Abuse In A Peruvian Circus, A Bear Awaits A New Home

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 9:59 pm

Cholita, an Andean bespectacled bear, was rescued from a circus in Peru after suffering from abuse. An animal welfare group is now attempting to take Cholita to the U.S.
Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

In Peru, a beleaguered bear is looking for a new home.

And the former circus animal is getting high-profile help from Michael Bond, the British author of the well-loved children's books about Paddington bear.

The tale of Cholita, an Andean spectacled bear like the fictional Paddington, is less the stuff of children's books and more of horror films.

Read more

6:05pm

Fri March 13, 2015
Parallels

Drumbeat Grows Louder For Impeachment Of Brazil's Rousseff

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 8:00 pm

Embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (shown here at the 21st International Construction Salon in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday) was elected four months ago. Her administration has been hit hard by economic problems and a massive corruption scandal at the state oil company, Petrobras.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

This week, President Dilma Rousseff descended the famous ramp designed by Oscar Neiymeyer in the presidential palace of Planalto to a crowd of women chanting her name.

The carefully choreographed ceremony was intended to show Rousseff — who was signing into law a ban on femicide — as a leader who has broad support.

But the night before the scene was a very different one. While she was addressing the country on TV, people grabbed their pots and pans and banged on them in protest.

Read more

8:17am

Sat February 21, 2015
Latin America

Minor Characters Take The Stage In Argentina's Real-Life Murder Mystery

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:33 pm

Diego Lagomarsino, a computer expert who gave late prosecutor Alberto Nisman the gun that killed him, speaks to reporters during a press conference in Buenos Aires last month.
Rodrigo Abd AP

The locksmith. The journalist. The computer technician. The waitress. The carpenter.

They are a rotating cast of characters connected to prosecutor Alberto Nisman and the deepening mystery surrounding his death last month. Famous for a moment, they have fed Argentina's obsession with conspiracy.

Read more

6:21pm

Wed February 18, 2015
Latin America

In Argentina, Marchers Mark One Month Since Prosecutor's Death

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 6:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:54pm

Tue February 10, 2015
Parallels

A Historic Drought Grips Brazil's Economic Capital

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 6:44 pm

A demonstrator dressed as a bather protests against the rationing of water, outside the official residence of Sao Paulo's Governor Geraldo Alckmin in Sao Paulo, on Jan. 26. The banner behind him reads, "Planet Water, Dry Lives."
Andre Penner AP

Last Sunday, hundreds of Paulistanos, as the residents of Sao Paulo are known, dressed up and danced on the streets at one of the dozens of block parties that happen in advance of the annual celebration known as Carnival.

Except this year – among the pirates and Viking bumblebees — some costumes had a more serious, if still not entirely sober, theme.

Antonio Passareli was dressed as a water fountain — with the spigot placed strategically on his waist. But it's no laughing matter, he said.

Read more

8:01am

Sun February 8, 2015
Parallels

Olympic Golf Course Makes Rio Greener But Turns Some Residents Red

Originally published on Sun February 8, 2015 11:34 am

An aerial view of the Rio 2016 Olympic golf course under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Leo Correa AP

Sitting under the shade of a tree on a hot, cloudless day, a group of young protesters has set up camp across from what will be the golf course for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Until recently the area was a kind of informal nature reserve, undeveloped and populated with animals, in a part of the city crowded with gated communities and high-rise buildings.

The group, which calls itself "Occupy Golf," says the massive Olympic golf course has taken away a public area.

Read more

6:19pm

Fri January 30, 2015
Parallels

Argentine Official Says He Sought Cooperation With Iran, Not Cover-Up

Originally published on Sun February 1, 2015 3:35 pm

Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on Jan. 15 shows a letter he said was sent in 2013 to Interpol informing it of an agreement reached with Iran's government to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association that killed 85 people. Timerman says he met with Iran in an attempt to solve the case and denies accusations he was part of a cover-up.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Shortly before Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a bullet in his head, he accused Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, and others in her government of covering up what he said was Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

Nisman claimed that those involved in the cover-up included Foreign Minister Hector Timerman — a particularly sensitive accusation not only because of his position but because of his background.

Read more

6:16pm

Thu January 29, 2015
Latin America

Prosecutor's Murky Death Could Impact Argentina's Elections

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:07 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more

5:44am

Thu January 29, 2015
Latin America

Argentine Prosecutor Was A Divisive Figure In Life And In Death

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:50 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more

4:27pm

Tue January 27, 2015
Parallels

On Holocaust Day, Argentina's Jews Despair Over Deaths, Old And New

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 6:30 pm

Holocaust survivors light candles during a ceremony at the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building for Holocaust Victims Memory Day in Buenos Aires, the site of a deadly bombing two decades ago.
Alejandro Pagni AFP/Getty Images

In more normal times, the annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony would have drawn the Jewish community to a somber ceremony at Argentina's Foreign Ministry. But a large part of the community decided to boycott the event Tuesday and hold its own on the site of a deadly bombing two decades ago.

The speakers, including the treasurer of the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations, Mario Comisarenco, wanted to make clear why.

Read more

3:14am

Wed January 14, 2015
Parallels

In Brazil, A Once-High-Flying Economy Takes A Tumble

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:45 am

Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Volkswagen workers block the Anchieta highway in Sao Bernardo do Campo. Thousands of metalworkers marched to protest layoffs by carmakers expecting little or no rebound from a sharp 2014 downturn.
Adonis Guerra Reuters/Landov

It was a terrible Christmas season for stores in Brazil. For the first time in more than a decade — since 2003 — sales went down.

Roberta Pimenta owns a small shop selling children's clothes at the Butanta mall in Sao Paulo, which is aimed squarely at the middle-class shoppers who live in the area.

"It was the worst drop in sales since I've had this store," Pimenta says. "In seven years it was the worst year I had. And every year you have a 10 percent increase of employees' salary, 10 percent increase in the rent, 10 percent in everything, so it is horrible."

Read more

4:38pm

Thu January 1, 2015
Latin America

In Brazil, Plastic Surgery Seen As A Right, Not A Privilege

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 10:34 pm

With January first marking the start of many people's self-improvement projects, Lourdes Garcia Navarro shares a story she reported earlier this year about plastic surgery in Brazil.

This story first aired on All Things Considered on Oct. 7, 2014.

Read more

3:24am

Tue December 16, 2014
Parallels

Argentina's Approach To Inflation: Ditch The Peso, Hoard U.S. Dollars

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 4:10 pm

A man gets information about how to buy dollars at a foreign exchange business in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Jan. 27.
Natacha Pisarenko AP

Kelly Brenner ushers in guests at the Adentro Dinner Club. This is a "​puertas cerradas"​ restaurant — meaning behind closed doors. It's a culinary movement where people cook for paying guests in their homes. Adentro is the most well-reviewed in Buenos Aires​.

​Brenner, who is originally from Boulder, Colo., acts as the host, and her Argentine fiance, Gabriel Aguallo, does the cooking, focusing on grilled meat.

Read more

5:19pm

Wed December 10, 2014
Parallels

Brazil's Tearful President Praises Report On Abuses Of A Dictatorship

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:38 am

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff begins to cry as she delivers a speech during the final report of the National Truth Commission on Violation of Human Rights during the military dictatorship from 1964-1985 in Brasilia on Wednesday. She is among the thousands who were tortured during that brutal period.
Ed Ferreira/Agencia Estado Xinhua/Landov

Brazil's national truth commission on Wednesday delivered a damning report looking at the abuses committed during that country's military dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985.

The 2,000-page document details for the first time a history of arbitrary detention, torture, executions and disappearances.

Until now, Brazil has sought to bury its difficult past.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was herself tortured during Brazil's dictatorship period, broke down when she addressed the nation Wednesday. She said the report had fulfilled three important objectives.

Read more

2:19pm

Tue December 9, 2014
Parallels

Argentina: Where Cash Is King And Robberies Are On The Rise

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:10 pm

A newsstand owner counts Argentine pesos in Buenos Aires. Many Argentines carry large amounts of cash, saying they do not trust banks. This has contributed to a surge in robberies.
Leo La Valle AFP/Getty Images

Leonel Kaplan, an Argentine jazz musician, often has to travel abroad.

Before a recent trip to Europe, he went to a bank in Buenos Aires to change money and then went to get a haircut. Kaplan felt happy and relaxed and took the bus home after what had been an uneventful trip.

That, however, was about to change.

"As I get down from the bus, a motorcycle with two people wearing helmets cuts me off," he recalls. "One gets off and takes out a gun and says to me directly, 'Give me the 500 euros you got in the bank.' "

Read more

3:28am

Thu December 4, 2014
Parallels

The Man Argentines Love To Hate Is An American Judge

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:32 pm

A wall in Buenos Aires, Argentina, displays posters with an image of U.S. Judge Thomas Griesa and a message in Spanish — "Sovereignty or vulture scam" — in support of Argentina's government in its dispute against a U.S. hedge fund, known locally as a "vulture fund."
Natacha Pisarenko AP

For an American, it probably would be a really hard Jeopardy question, but in Argentina, pretty much anyone you stop can answer this: Who is the judge in New York at the center of Argentina's default crisis?

Pablo de Luca, a systems engineer walking along a downtown Buenos Aires street recently responded easily: Judge Thomas P. Griesa.

"Griesa is an enemy for us," he says.

Georgina Segui, an office secretary stopped while she was doing errands, also knew the answer.

Read more

12:52pm

Sun November 30, 2014
Parallels

Uruguay Tries To Tame A 'Monster' Called Cannabis

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:52 pm

Outgoing Uruguay President Jose Mujica's face illustrates a T-shirt supporting his new law legalizing marijuana. Uruguay's citizens are voting for Mujica's replacement on Sunday, and the expected winner is a candidate from his party.
Matilde Campodonico AP

To gauge international interest in Uruguay's legal cannabis market, spend just a few minutes at a small marijuana shop called Urugrow in Uruguay's capital, Montevideo.

In a period of about 10 minutes, owner Juan Manuel Varela gets a call from Brazil. A man from Canada shows up to see what the market would be for his company, which sells child-safe packaging for marijuana products. Shortly after, two American travelers stop by looking to score weed.

Read more

1:59pm

Thu November 13, 2014
The Salt

Ferran Adria And Fellow Star Chefs Talk Biodiversity In Brazil

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

Brazilian fruits, including jambu and tapereba (lower right), displayed for a gathering of chefs in Sao Paolo.
Paula Moura for NPR

Culinary superstars gathered in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo this month at an event organized by the Basque Culinary Center. But they weren't there to cook. Instead, the the famous chefs were talking about biodiversity.

Read more

7:49am

Sun November 9, 2014
Parallels

In Brazil, Race Is A Matter Of Life And Violent Death

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 12:13 pm

Residents look on as Brazilian military police officers patrol Mare, one of the largest complexes of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 30. In one of the world's most violent countries, homicide rates are dropping — but only for whites.
Mario Tama Getty Images

On June 11 — one day before the World Cup started — two policemen picked up three black teenagers in Rio de Janeiro. The three hadn't committed any crime — but they did have a history of petty offenses.

The officers drove them up to the wooded hills above the city. One was shot in the head and killed. One was shot in the leg and the back and left for dead. Another escaped.

Read more

2:15pm

Wed November 5, 2014
Parallels

Brazil: The Land Of Many Lawyers And Very Slow Justice

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 10:23 am

Brazil's judicial system faces a massive backlog of cases — and stacks of paperwork. One group of five judges in Sao Paulo is currently handling 1.6 million cases.
G Dettmar National Council of Justice

Brazil is teeming with law schools and lawyers. But the wheels of justice in the country turn slowly — most cases take years to resolve and sometimes even decades.

To understand why, we visited the musty offices of Judge Laurence Mattos in Sao Paulo. Mattos' suit is gray; his smile is thin. He seems as if his job has flattened him somehow. He's not very verbose either, and when he does speak, it's in a monotone. For 22 years, Mattos explains succinctly, he's been a judge dealing with financial issues in Brazil. End of story.

What is extraordinary is his workload.

Read more

Pages