British Ambassador leaves office after ‘pointing gun at staff’

The British ambassador to Mexico reportedly left his post earlier this year after pointing a gun at a local embassy employee.

A video posted on social media, initially reported by the Financial Times, appears to show Jon Benjamin aiming a rifle at another man while looking down the weapon’s sights.

It was captioned: “In [the] against the background of daily killings in Mexico by drug traffickers, he dared to joke.”

Mr. Benjamin has so far not commented on what appears to be a misplaced joke.

No official announcement on Mr Benjamin’s position has been made by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). But he is no longer listed as ambassador to Mexico on the government’s official website, which says he held the post “from 2021 to 2024”.

In the video, a man resembling Mr. Benjamin can be seen moving the weapon around the car, aiming at different people. Laughter can be heard in the background. A man is seen making an annoyed gesture as the weapon is aimed at him.

Mr Benjamin comes to Mexico from previous postings including Ghana and Chile with a reputation for being rather unconventional by the standards of most UK diplomats.

He is very active on social media with a large following on X. He can be quite outspoken, sometimes directly responding to followers about issues he is passionate about – especially politics politics, football and African rock music. It’s part of a more approachable, less stuffy personality than what other ambassadors convey.

In Mexico, as in most of his previous positions, Mr. Benjamin is a firm believer in the soft power role of British rock and indie music. An avid music fan himself, he encouraged major UK bands and artists to visit Mexico, sometimes hosting them at his mansion before their concerts.

For decades, for example, he was the Rolling Stones’ main liaison within the FCDO, helping the supergroup negotiate the cumbersome paperwork of playing live events around the world.

He has always appeared excited and engaged with Mexico since starting his posting in 2021, traveling to many of the country’s 32 states. It was during a trip to the drug cartels-controlled states of Sinaloa and Durango that the incident with his employee occurred.

More than 30,000 people were murdered in Mexico last year. The country has extremely restrictive gun laws and only one gun store is located in a military complex in Mexico City.

The fact that the ambassador was seen pointing a gun at his group amid numerous annual killings due to drug-related violence in Mexico has affected embassy staff and left many Mexicans worried. calm down more.

Even if intended as a joke, the fact that it took place with an obviously loaded machine gun in one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico was a serious miscalculation.

What was supposed to be a routine trip to northern Mexico appears to have brought an ignominious end to a very long and distinguished career in the FCDO.

An FCDO spokesperson said: “We are aware of this incident and have taken appropriate action.

“When internal issues arise, FCDO has robust HR processes in place to address them.”

The BBC has contacted Mr Benjamin for comment.


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