American man slain in troubled Mexican state of Veracruz

A U.S. citizen and environmental activist has been killed in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, a hotbed of violence and extortion and by drug gangs, authorities and Mexican media said.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed on Tuesday the death of Gordon Strom and declined to comment further out of respect for his family.

The Veracruz state prosecutor's office said the male victim it identified only by his initials was found dead May 4 in a home in El Zapote, in the municipality of Teocelo, with head wounds caused by a firearm.

La Jornada newspaper reported that the 58-year-old man was discovered at his ranch with his hands and feet tied, and that he had been beaten.

The newspaper said Strom arrived in Teocelo six years ago and participated in environmental conservation projects such as recycling and water filtration, ran a meditation group for children and adults and advocated for urban gardening and water rights.

On a Facebook page in Strom's name where people left messages of condolences, it said he had attended high school and community college in the Portland, Oregon, area.