Helena Lins,

Editor (South America)


SANTIAGO – Jon Benjamin, the current U.K ambassador to Chile, posted on his Twitter account a very undiplomatic joke alluding to a Chilean football song that mocks the Argentina’s defeat to the U.K in the Falklands war  last Tuesday.

Regarding the popular chant’s line “Argentineans, gays, they took the Falklands off you because you are cowards”, the UK ambassador tweeted, in Spanish,“Which islands did they take off who and for being what? Maybe I’ll get to know at the National Stadium this Tuesday? I already got my ticket!”

What was supposed to be a private message to a friend celebrating the fact that Jon Benjamin managed to get a ticket to watch the World Cup qualifying match between Chile and Argentina that took place in Santiago, quickly became a phenomenon in Chile.

Another Twitter user commented saying, “Football folklore is beautiful until people bring in issues stained with blood. This is an insult to all the Argentineans who lost their lives in the Malvinas [the Argentinean name for Falklands].”

Moreover, the Chilean former Telecommunications Minister Pablo Bello tweeted: “Your comments are in bad taste, ambassador. You don’t need to appeal to Chilean nationalist chauvinism to fulfil your diplomatic mission. Doing so reflects badly on you.”

Jon Benjamin has already deleted the post and apologized saying, “I’m sorry I offended with a private message that I published by mistake. I feel great affection for my Argentine friends and respect for their national side.”

Image Courtesy: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/5715641522/)

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Helena is a Journalism student at Cardiff University and a traveller on her free time. Her main field of interest is international relations and global affairs while bearing in mind countries’ particularities. She is also very enthusiastic about interviewing people with an interesting story to tell and curious ideas to share. She enjoys photographing and is seeking her chance as international reporter and video-journalist.