Jun 1, 2024, 10:42 AM

UK envoy to Mexico sacked after pointing gun at staff +VIDEO

UK envoy to Mexico sacked after pointing gun at staff +VIDEO

TEHRAN, Jun. 01 (MNA) – The British ambassador to Mexico was quietly removed from his post earlier this year after he pointed an assault rifle at a local embassy employee, it emerged when footage of the incident was posted on social media.

The Financial Times reported that Jon Benjamin was on an official trip to Durango and Sinaloa, two states with strong organised crime groups, when he looked down the gun’s sights at a colleague, who gestures uncomfortably in the five-second clip.

The firearm presumably belonged to the security detail accompanying the diplomat, who was sacked soon after the incident in April.

The video was released by an anonymous account on X, formerly known as Twitter. “In a context of daily killings in Mexico by drug dealers, he dares to joke,” wrote the account.

Mexico has seen more than 30,000 homicides a year for the last six years – one of the highest homicide rates in Latin America – as organised crime groups fight to control territory and businesses across the country.

Benjamin, 61, is no longer listed as the ambassador on the UK government website.

Benjamin became UK ambassador to Mexico in 2021, having previously held posts in Chile, Turkey, Ghana, Indonesia and the US over a career of almost four decades.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Guardian, but told the FT: “We are aware of this incident and have taken appropriate action. Where internal issues do arise, the FCDO has robust HR processes to address them.”

Diplomatic relations between the UK and Mexico, Latin America’s second-largest economy, have tended to be cordial and uncontroversial. They have been negotiating a new free trade agreement since 2022.

This Sunday Mexican voters appear all but certain to elect Claudia Sheinbaum as their first female president, taking over from her popular predecessor of the same party, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The campaign trail has been blighted by violence, with more than 30 candidates killed and hundreds more dropping out as organised crime groups vie to install friendly leaders.

On Wednesday – the final day of the campaign – a gunman filmed himself shooting dead the opposition mayoral candidate José Alfredo Cabrera in the town of Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero, before in turn being gunned down by bodyguards.


News ID 215961


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