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UK Ambassador to Mexico Removed After Controversial Rifle Incident

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The UK fired its ambassador to Mexico, Jon Benjamin, after a video surfaced showing him pointing a rifle at an embassy employee. The incident, captured during an official visit, highlights critical diplomatic conduct.

UK Ambassador to Mexico Dismissed After Rifle Incident

The United Kingdom's ambassador to Mexico, Jon Benjamin, was dismissed earlier this year following the emergence of a controversial video on social media. The video, which surfaced on May 26, shows the ambassador pointing a rifle at a local embassy employee. This incident occurred during an official visit to the Mexican states of Durango and Sinaloa in April.

The five-second clip, posted on an account called Subdiplomatic, features Benjamin seated in the front passenger seat of a vehicle, aiming the rifle at a person in the back seat. Laughter can be heard in the background, demonstrating the casual demeanor with which the event was treated at the time.

The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) promptly responded to the incident, stating, 'We are aware of this incident and have taken appropriate action.' However, the FCDO did not explicitly state the nature of the sanctions imposed on Benjamin. Despite CNN's attempts to reach him for comment, Benjamin did not respond.

Sources close to the situation informed the Financial Times that Benjamin was relieved of his duties soon after the incident. His dismissal was particularly significant as Sinaloa is notorious for being the base of one of the two most violent cartels in Mexico.

The UK government website confirms that Benjamin no longer holds his ambassadorial post. His biography notes his tenure as the UK ambassador to Mexico from 2021 to 2024, with no indication of the reasons behind his abrupt departure.

Efforts to obtain comments from Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs yielded no results, as Mexican officials remained silent on the matter.

  • The episode highlights the critical importance of responsible conduct by diplomats, especially in regions marked by high levels of violence and drug cartels. The British government’s swift action underscores a zero-tolerance policy towards behavior that could jeopardize diplomatic relations or endanger embassy staff.
  • This incident serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges diplomats face and the significant consequences of their actions, both in official capacities and moments of indiscretion.
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Refs: | Le Parisien | CNNEE |



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