MEXICO CITY -- Armando Montano, an aspiring journalist who was working this summer as a news intern for The Associated Press in the Mexican capital, was found dead early Saturday. He was 22 years old.
Montano's body was found in the elevator shaft of an apartment building near where he was living in the capital's Condesa neighborhood. The circumstances of his death were being investigated by Mexican authorities.
During his time in the bureau, Montano covered stories including the saga of nine young elephants from Namibia who wound up on an animal reserve in Mexico's Puebla state, and the shooting of three federal policemen at the Mexico City airport.
He was not on assignment at the time of his death. The U.S. embassy is monitoring the course of the investigation.
Montano had planned to attend a master's degree program in journalism at the University of Barcelona in the fall.
With his high energy and broad smile, Montano made scores of friends within weeks after his arrival in the Mexican capital.
"Armando was a smart, joyful, hardworking and talented young man," said Marjorie Miller, AP's Latin America editor based in Mexico City.
"He absolutely loved journalism and was soaking up everything he could," Miller said. "In his short time with the AP, he won his way into everyone's hearts with his hard work, his effervescence and his love of the profession." In December and January, Montano covered the Iowa presidential caucuses as a news intern for The New York Times, and last year worked for several months as an intern covering policy and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, D.C.
"Mando was a standout young journalist, with a rare passion and exuberance for life and for people," said Richard Berke, an assistant managing editor at The New York Times. "He accomplished so much and touched so many in a short time, and his potential was truly limitless."
He is survived by his parents, Diane Alters and Mario Montano, of Colorado Springs, who both teach at Colorado College.