Gay American AP Intern Found Dead In Mexico City

AMontanoTwenty-two year old Armando Montano, an American journalist interning for the Associated Press, was found dead in an elevator shaft this weekend. The causes of the Colorado Springs resident's death are unknown and the U.S. Embassy there is monitoring the investigation.

The Washington Post offers more information about Montano's regrettably short career:

The Colorado Springs, Colorado, resident arrived in Mexico City in early June after graduating from Grinnell College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a concentration in Latin American studies.

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.

"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,” said Miller. "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."

Montano planned on getting a master's in journalism at the University of Barcelona come fall. The Massachusetts-born journo was also a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

Comments

  1. says

    How sad. His parents must be devastated and heart-broken. Another caution for those of us who believe “it would never happen to me” – stay out of Mexico at any cost. Such a handsome young man to have lost his right to life so early.

  2. patrick says

    It doesn’t sound like the work of the cartels – they usually have more gruesome methods, such as beheadings used as warnings to other inquisitive journalists. My condolences to his family and friends. It sucks balls when young smart people die.

  3. jamal49 says

    Anytime this happens–a journalist killed in Mexico–you know that the narco-scum has to be involved. There’s just enough in the report of his death–the coverage of the death of three federal policemen at the MC airport–to definitely raise alarm flags.

    God, what tragedy. I don’t know what his being gay has to do with anything other than giving this site a reason to report this. One wonders if Towleroad would have bothered if this young man wasn’t “gay”.

    Probably not. Which is why Towleroad continues to be firmly entrenched in the “gay ghetto” of blog sites.

  4. Insensitivefools says

    Uh, Jamal 49, this is a gay and lesbian news blog. It doesn’t pretend to be anything more or less. Towleroad does a terrific job of covering all kinds of things that they think will be of interest to the LGBT community. Some of them have no specific gay angle but are just interesting stories. I love the variety that they achieve. This promising young writer being a member of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Journalists and meeting a tragic death in Mexico City is certainly newsworthy for this site. If you can’t understand that, then maybe you should look elsewhere for your news.

  5. ratbastard says

    This is sad and my sympathies go out to Mr. Montano’s family and friends.

    I posted this question on another story about Mr. Montano that stated he was in a scholarship program for ‘minorities'; how exactly, aside from being gay and a male [males are the minority gender] was Mr. Montano a minority? He was from Massachusetts [where I live, it’s a part of the U.S.], was an ‘American’, and judging by his pics he was of white European descent, Spanish I assume. If his family came by way of Latin America he was obviously still of white European descent. Does the fact he had a ‘Latino’ or ‘Hispanic’ name what made Mr. Montano a ‘minority’? My maternal grandfather was from Spain, if I change my last name to his, would I be considered a ‘minority’? Would I get affirmative action and minority scholarships? I even have green eyes which makes me even more of a minority than Mr. Montano was because the vast majority of people have brown. Ah, but I don’t physically look ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’. I look ‘white’ [Progressive-speak: northern European].

    When is this BS going to end?

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    “My maternal grandfather was from Spain, if I change my last name to his, would I be considered a ‘minority’? Would I get affirmative action and minority scholarships?”

    Only if you move to Spain.

  7. Joseph says

    His father is Mexican; that and/or being gay is probably what allowed him to qualify as a minority.

    A heartbreaking story. My condolences to his family.

  8. Dizzy123 says

    Ratbastard,

    Get over yourself. I love how you try to preface your message with a quick “sympathies!” but are obviously just looking forward to spewing some conservative BS.

  9. JJH says

    People from Spain do not like to be associated as Latinos. Spaniards loathe being compared or mistaken for Latin Americans or Mexicans. The spaniards are strictly considered white europeans.

  10. JJH says

    To:Derrick from Philly and Ratbasterd. You are not a minority, Spaniards are white folks. Latin Americans, Mexicans, Cubans, etc are from mixed backgrounds from third world countries. The aforementioned, countries have white european immigrants, but most are finiacially stable with some of those countries having a caste system. There are so many scholarships out there for everyone including white people, but generally students are too lazy to apply.

  11. FunMe says

    That is really sad. The weirdest part is that it is in a really good area of Mexico City … Condesa, which is right next to Roma Norte, both neighborhood cool and safe. I wonder if they thought he was reporting on the drug cartels because he was with AP when in reality he wasn’t.

    Too young to die. Prayers for healing to his family and friends.

  12. FunMe says

    That is really sad. The weirdest part is that it is in a really good area of Mexico City … Condesa, which is right next to Roma Norte, both neighborhood cool and safe. I wonder if they thought he was reporting on the drug cartels because he was with AP when in reality he wasn’t.

    Too young to die. Prayers for healing to his family and friends.

  13. FunMe says

    Some more information on this young lad:

    http://www.njherald.com/story/18928389/armando-montano-ap-intern-dies-in-mexico-city

    “Montano was the recipient of an Ellen Masin Persina Scholarship from the National Press Club in 2008; a Newhouse Scholar with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2008; and a Chips Quinn Scholar from the Freedom Forum for Diversity in 2011. He belonged to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

    Born in Massachusetts, Montano was a fluent Spanish speaker who grew up in Colorado but lived for two years as a child in Costa Rica and spent time in Argentina and on the U.S.-Mexico border with his family.”

    About that scholarship … “Scholarship for Journalism Diversity
    The National Press Club, the leading professional organization for journalists, wants to recruit promising future journalists who will bring diversity to American journalism. The scholarship consists of a $2,000 one-year scholarship, which can be renewed for up to three years at $2,500 per year. The first-year scholarship includes an additional $500 book stipend, the Ellen Masin Persina Scholarship.”

    It doesn’t matter if he was a mixed latino, white latino, Indian latino … it appears that he would fit the future journalist who will bring diversity to his profession based on his Spanish-speaking upbringing and knowledge of minority issues. If I recall, most of the latinos in Colorado seem to come directly from Spain ancestry but yet they consider themselves latino. Just like the white Cubans. So I don’t know why it is an issue.

    May he rest his soul.

    He is survived by his parents, Diane Alters and Mario Montano, of Colorado Springs, who both teach at Colorado College.

  14. FunMe says

    Some more information on this young lad:

    http://www.njherald.com/story/18928389/armando-montano-ap-intern-dies-in-mexico-city

    “Montano was the recipient of an Ellen Masin Persina Scholarship from the National Press Club in 2008; a Newhouse Scholar with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2008; and a Chips Quinn Scholar from the Freedom Forum for Diversity in 2011. He belonged to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

    Born in Massachusetts, Montano was a fluent Spanish speaker who grew up in Colorado but lived for two years as a child in Costa Rica and spent time in Argentina and on the U.S.-Mexico border with his family.”

    About that scholarship … “Scholarship for Journalism Diversity
    The National Press Club, the leading professional organization for journalists, wants to recruit promising future journalists who will bring diversity to American journalism. The scholarship consists of a $2,000 one-year scholarship, which can be renewed for up to three years at $2,500 per year. The first-year scholarship includes an additional $500 book stipend, the Ellen Masin Persina Scholarship.”

    It doesn’t matter if he was a mixed latino, white latino, Indian latino … it appears that he would fit the future journalist who will bring diversity to his profession based on his Spanish-speaking upbringing and knowledge of minority issues. If I recall, most of the latinos in Colorado seem to come directly from Spain ancestry but yet they consider themselves latino. Just like the white Cubans. So I don’t know why it is an issue.

    May he rest his soul.

    He is survived by his parents, Diane Alters and Mario Montano, of Colorado Springs, who both teach at Colorado College.

  15. mike flower says

    Montano was prolly working the same “minority” beat that Gerraldo Rivera once worked. As the strippers said to Rose: “ya gotta have a gimmick.”

  16. denison says

    So foolish… why are people jumping to conclusions when they know nothing about this? A guy died in an elevator a couple of years ago in New York (a famous musician actually). People’s first reaction wasn’t “it’s the mafia.” As others have mentioned, this was a rich area and there are all kinds of scenarios which could’ve lead to this. Don’t speculate, it’s simply stupid.

  17. JJH says

    Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 02:00 PM PDT
    The unexpected lessons of Mexican food

    Nachos and burritos helped me understand my immigrant father and make sense of my strange biracial existence
    By Armando Montano
    109
    43

    more

    Topics: Food, Mexico, Race, Real Families
    (Credit: Ildi Papp via Shutterstock)

    I first discovered cooking at age 5, when the earthy smell of boiling pinto beans lured me into the kitchen. It was my dad. He dripped them into an oily skillet and smashed them into a lumpy paste. I started pulling on his apron straps, begging to know the name of the concoction.

    “Your grandmother always made this,” he said, stirring the bubbling brown stew and pinching in cumin. “I’ll teach you how to make it. Here, try it.” He raised the dripping spoon to my mouth. The mild tingle of cumin and the soft squish of beans lingered on my pallet, like a spicy fingerprint.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt the push and pull of growing up biracial in America. In the Mexican side of my family I was known as the white one. Even though I spoke Spanish, it was the formal kind learned from classrooms and reading, rather than the one you pick up by bartering with local shop owners over the price of firm avocados, or arguing with parents over a ridiculous curfew. On the other side, my cousins called me a “Wexican,” a white Mexican despite my similarly toned skin.

    Cooking, however, taught me to channel my frustrations by creating foods through the addition of sour cream, cilantro, cayenne pepper and tender meat. I could make a food that doesn’t have to be Mexican or American.
    http://www.salon.com/writer/armando_montano/

  18. Shannon says

    NOTE TO MY AMERICANS!!!! STAY THE HELL AWALY FROM “MESSYCO” AND THOSE DANGEROUS MESSYCANS!!! ALMOST 100.000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED THERE AND AMERICANS ARE A PRIME TARGET!!! LEARN…………..

  19. andrew says

    A fine young man is dead and yet many of the a88holes who post on this site use him to get involved in all their race/nationality/ethnicity debates. A pox on them all!

  20. says

    This broke my heart. He sounded like such a gifted, amazing young member of the LGBT community. May he rest in peace.

    The reality of what is happening in Mexico is so alarming.

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