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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.

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.

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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