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UK envoy to Mexico sacked after pointing gun

By AFP

June 1, 2024 02:44 PM


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Britain's ambassador to Mexico was removed from his post after allegedly pointing an assault rifle inside a vehicle carrying embassy staff, reports said Friday.

The UK government said it had taken "appropriate action" after the incident, without confirming that Jon Benjamin had been sacked.

Benjamin was on a work trip to a northwestern region plagued by drug cartel violence when the incident happened, the Financial Times reported.

"Benjamin, a career diplomat, was sacked as ambassador soon after the episode in April," the newspaper said, quoting unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Foreign officials often travel with bodyguards when visiting danger zones in Mexico, it noted.

A video posted by an anonymous account on the social media platform X this week appeared to show the moment when Benjamin jokingly pointed the weapon towards the rear of the vehicle.

The face of a passenger -- described by the FT as a local embassy employee -- sitting in the back seat was blurred out.

"In a context of daily killings in Mexico by drug dealers, he dares to joke," said the account @subdiplomatic, which also complained of alleged mistreatment of Mexican embassy staff.

Around 80 people are murdered every day in the Latin American nation, large swaths of which are controlled by ultra-violent drug cartels.

Asked about the reports, a UK foreign ministry spokesperson told AFP: "We are aware of this incident and have taken appropriate action."

The British government has "robust HR processes" to address "internal issues" when they arise, the person added, without elaborating.

The ministry's website says Benjamin was UK ambassador to Mexico between 2021 and 2024.

According to Benjamin's account on business networking site LinkedIn, his posting in Mexico ended in May.


AFP


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