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.

More than two weeks ago, Iman al-Obeidi burst into a Tripoli hotel and told assembled journalists there that she had been gang-raped by members of forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi after being stopped at a checkpoint in the capital.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro snuck out of her guarded hotel Monday with another reporter and went to visit Obeidi at her home. They were the first reporters to independently speak with her in person. Because journalists are unable to report freely in Tripoli, NPR cannot verify her claims.

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As fighting rages around the Libyan oil port of Brega, it's becoming increasingly clear that a military stalemate has developed between the eastern and western parts of the country. Some observers are beginning to predict that Libya could eventually be partitioned.

But in the western city of Zawiya, those aren't the only ruptures the country is facing as Moammar Gadhafi clings to power.

'Everything Is OK'

Foreign journalists covering events in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, are facing increased government pressure. State television regularly denounces Western media coverage of the conflict, and there are billboards around the city condemning news organizations by name. The situation for the media in the Libyan capital has become ever more sinister and weird.

Events are never scheduled in advance. The only warning journalists normally get is a trilling over the speaker system in the Tripoli hotel where almost all of the Western media are based.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


Today, dozens of governments and international organizations meet in London. They are discussing the future of Libya, a future without Moammar Gadhafi.

NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro recently left Libya after reporting on the revolt against leader Moammar Gadhafi.

We arrived in eastern Libya, scant days after the uprising began last month, to a triumphant welcome. "Free Libya!" people exclaimed proudly.

Every time they greeted us, they explained that they had done it themselves — thrown off the yoke of a despicable regime — and needed no further help to get rid of leader Moammar Gadhafi once and for all.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was one of the first reporters who went across the border to Libya after the eastern part of that country shook loose the rule of Moammar Gadhafi. After returning to Egypt, she spoke with Steve Inskeep about her experiences.

Inskeep: Will you talk about the journey from Benghazi, the rebel capital, across Libya, across the border and back?

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro filling in for Steve Inskeep, who is in Cairo.


NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from the eastern city of Benghazi.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

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GUY RAZ, host:

Now in Libya, as I mentioned a few moments ago, the fighting between pro-government forces and anti-Gadhafi rebels continues to rage in many of the coastal cities east of the capital Tripoli.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has the latest from the town of Ras Lanuf.