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.

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.

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.' "

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Janet and Jaqueline Timal are 40-something-year-old sisters, and they have what they call a plastic surgery fund.

"I'm always saving money. When I see I've gathered up enough money for another surgery I do it," Jaqueline says.

She has had breast implants put in and also a tummy tuck. She's visiting the plastic surgeon's office again to do a famed Brazilian butt lift, which is the same as a breast lift, but on your backside. Janet has had a tummy tuck; she's now doing her breasts, too. Between them, they will have had five surgeries.

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Brazilians head to the polls Sunday in one of the most exciting elections in recent history there. The presidential race pits two women against each other — a first for the South American country.

Candidate Marina Silva, if elected, would make history by being the first Afro-Brazilian president. But first she must beat incumbent Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla who was tortured under the dictatorship in Brazil.

It's election season in Brazil, and a group of young women hold up placards outside the Cuiaba airport in support of their candidate. The capital of the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso is best known for its cattle ranching and agriculture. It is the Texas of Brazil — big, flat and hot with people who moved here from all over the country as kind of frontiersmen.

For the past two decades, one man has politically loomed above them all. His name is Jose Riva. He's been a politician in the state for 20 years, presiding over the state legislature in one form or another.

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been over a month since the World Cup ended in Brazil, but the shame of the country's blowout loss remains. Once, Brazilians were welcomed in other countries with talk of Brazil's soccer dominance; now, everyone merely speaks of their historic defeat against Germany.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The story of Lenira de Oliveira and her dead lover's letter is a tale of Brazil. It's a story of love, jealousy, forgiveness, life after death and the criminal court system. And it's true — though it sounds like fiction.

It sounds, in particular, like the work of the late Gabriel Garcia-Marquez.

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

Everaldo Dias Pereira — known to his flock as Pastor Everaldo — shakes the hands of potential voters at a shopping mall in a suburb of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

As he wishes them the peace of the Lord, a group of supporters shout out: "Enough of corruption, enough of people who don't know the word of God. We want Pastor Everaldo."

The pastor is running for president, and even though it is unlikely he will win — polls show he only has 3 percent of the vote — his socially conservative message resonates among many of the evangelical faithful.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now on to Sao Paulo, where NPR South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro caught the game at a bar. And, Lourdes, I assume there is collective anguish, albeit very loud anguish right now. What's the mood?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Brazil faces Germany today in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Deep into the tournament, Brazilian fans have developed a game day routine.

INSKEEP: So we present to you now, with NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Sao Paulo, Brazil's World Cup ritual in four acts.

MONTAGNE: Act one - getting to the game.

Brazilian street artist Paulo Ito has captured the spirit of the World Cup with two controversial images: One depicts a starving Brazilian boy with nothing but a soccer ball to eat; the other depicts even protesters watching the games on television. They both speak to viewers worldwide about the costs of staging the mega event. Ito explains what inspired his work and what's happening in Brazil.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now some World Cup news that is not about the U.S. team. Argentina played Switzerland today. The South American country won, scoring a goal in overtime. Argentina's fans were out in force in Sao Paulo, where the two teams faced off. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro says supporters of Brazil's greatest rival are getting a lot of attention in the host country.

Luis Suarez's sponsors are dropping him, his future at his team Liverpool is in doubt and his 2014 World Cup is over. FIFA dealt the Uruguayan soccer player an unusually harsh sentence for biting his opponent, and his home country is outraged.

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

Transcript

Brazil is pouring nearly a billion dollars into Cuba's Mariel port. Brazil, via Cuba, will practically have its own port near U.S. shores — so it's a major geostrategic move.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We now turn to Brazil and the World Cup. Yesterday, the host country played Mexico, and it was a disappointing performance for home-team fans. It was a draw. Neither side scored. Still, Brazilians are feeling more positive about the World Cup. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Sao Paulo.

The talk on the streets of Brazil is the host country's resounding victory over Croatia on the World Cup pitch. But online, debate is raging over whether or not chants directed against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at the stadium where she was attending yesterday's match were sexist.

After the opening ceremony, fans briefly started jeering "Hey, Dilma, go f*** yourself in the a**! Hey, FIFA, go f*** yourself in the a**!"

Riot police in Sao Paulo used tear gas and stun grenades against protesters angry over Brazil's attention to the World Cup over the needs of its people. The violence came before the first game began.

In Brazil, thousands of protesters clashed with police just hours before the World Cup opening ceremony. The streets of Sao Paolo were filled with tear gas and concussion grenades.

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."

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Pages