Community volunteer Gordon Strom paints a utility poll in Teocelo. Community volunteer Gordon Strom paints a utility poll in Teocelo.

Community activist murdered in Veracruz

El Gringo was a US-Mexican citizen who volunteered for many community projects

A United States-Mexican citizen described as a much-loved community activist was found murdered in his home in Teocelo, Veracruz, yesterday.

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Gordon Louis Strom Diaz, 58, was killed during what appeared to be a robbery on his ranch called “El Gringo” on the Teocelo-El Zapote highway.

An employee of Strom’s found his body yesterday afternoon. He had been tied up and struck on the head.

The victim’s wife, Yvette Strom, told Mexico News Daily that her husband “loved our community of Teocelo with all of his heart,” and was always looking for ways to make it better.

In late 2015 Strom, known as “El Gringo,” was instrumental in persuading local citizens to get behind a project to repair local roads by hiring a construction firm and doing it themselves. “We’re going ahead without them,” Strom said at the time, referring to the local authorities.

A story in the newspaper Al Calor Político, also in 2015, told of Amigos de Teocelo, an organization Strom founded to encourage citizens to adopt a positive role in the community.

“We want people to have faith and trust, because right now no one has either, not in the government or in their neighbors because of all the crime,” said Strom, a retired contractor originally from California.

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Yvette Strom said her husband worked tirelessly on various projects in the community, such as showing people how to build inexpensive stoves that used less wood, make simple water filters and build water heaters using plastic pop bottles and black tubing.

She said he taught meditation to children and worked with a group in local schools, planting gardens and teaching sustainable living.

The list goes on: he painted murals, patched roads and helped build a house for a woman in need.

Strom described her husband’s death as senseless.

“We have little of value in our home, and he was bound, beaten and murdered for a few, valueless things.”

Mexico News Daily

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  • Alice

    My heart aches for Yvette. Senselessness of taking a valuable life of a very good hearted man.

    • Güerito

      I respect your post and understand, but you must know these activists are killed for the work they’re doing in Mexico.

    • Yvette Strom

      Thank you. I feel his loss every day.

  • Güerito

    Why are so many community activists, journalists and priests killed in Mexico during “random acts of robbery”??

    • Hailey Mannering

      Perhaps they´re not in the safest parts of Mexico.

      • Yvette Strom

        For us, we lived in a sleepy little town with no ties to the cartels.

    • David Nichols

      So the authorities, whose oxen are being gored, can dismiss the crime as insolvable…

    • Yvette Strom

      It turns out it wasn’t even a robbery. Our home, possessions, and car were left intact. Something far more sinister is happening.

      • Güerito

        It was a rhetorical question. Political forces, aligned with narcos, are behind most of these killings. Mexico also has a lot of political prisoners no one really talks about.

  • K. Chris C.

    “In late 2015 Strom, known as “El Gringo,” was instrumental in persuading local citizens to get behind a project to repair local roads by hiring a construction firm and doing it themselves. “We’re going ahead without them,” Strom said at the time, referring to the local authorities.”

    Don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who killed him. But they could have at least tried a horse head in his bed first.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    • David Nichols

      Yep, “we’re going ahead”…we’re just not going very far…!

  • robert w

    This is so sad. It would seem any good deed in Mexico can not go unpunished. I have family in Teocelo and hurt for them. RIP El Gringo.

    • Yvette Strom

      Thank you. We are now at two months without an arrest.

  • gypsyken

    I lived in Chapala for 13 years and enjoyed it greatly, but Mexico has become too dangerous for me to consider returning to it.

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