British ambassador to Mexico sacked after pointing gun at embassy employee

Last Updated: June 15, 2024By

British Ambassador Removed After Shocking Incident

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The British ambassador to Mexico was quietly removed from his position earlier this year after a shocking video surfaced online. In the clip, he is seen pointing an assault rifle at a local embassy employee.

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The Incident Unfolds

Jon Benjamin, the ambassador, was on an official trip to Durango and Sinaloa, regions known for strong organized crime. In the five-second video, you can see him aiming the gun at a colleague, who clearly looks uncomfortable.

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It’s believed that the firearm was part of the security team protecting the ambassador. Soon after this incident in April, Benjamin was relieved of his duties.

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The video first appeared on social media, posted by an anonymous user on X (formerly Twitter). The post criticized Benjamin for joking around with a gun in a country plagued by daily killings due to drug-related violence.

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A Troubled Context

For the past six years, Mexico has been facing a dire situation with more than 30,000 homicides annually. These numbers are among the highest in Latin America, driven by criminal organizations fighting for control over territory and businesses.

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End of a Diplomatic Career

At 61, Benjamin’s name no longer appears as the UK ambassador to Mexico on the official government website. His career in diplomacy started nearly four decades ago and has taken him to various countries, including Chile, Turkey, Ghana, Indonesia, and the US.

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When contacted by the Guardian, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) did not comment immediately. However, they did tell the Financial Times: “We are aware of this incident and have taken appropriate action. The FCDO has strong HR processes to handle such issues.”

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Diplomatic Relations and New Developments

Typically, the relationship between the UK and Mexico, which is the second-largest economy in Latin America, has been smooth. The two countries have been working on a new free trade agreement since 2022.

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Mexico’s Political Landscape

This year, Mexico is on the verge of electing its first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum, succeeding Andrés Manuel López Obrador from the same party. However, the election campaign has been marred by violence. Over 30 candidates have been killed, and many others have dropped out, intimidated by criminal groups trying to influence the elections.

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In a particularly shocking event, a gunman filmed himself shooting dead opposition mayoral candidate José Alfredo Cabrera in Guerrero, only to be shot by bodyguards shortly after. This incident happened on the last day of the campaign, highlighting the extreme dangers candidates face.

The removal of the British ambassador is just one of the many dramatic events unfolding in Mexico’s turbulent political and social landscape.

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