Argentina’s Labour Minister Jorge Triaca was in hot water on Wednesday after a voice message went viral in which he could be heard insulting a former employee.
On the receiving end of the aggressive message was Sandra Heredia, a former house keeper and assistant who claims the Triaca family had hired her informally for nearly three years and only fully formalised her employment situation 20 days prior to the current government wining office.
Triaca took Twitter to address the voice messages, offering a non-apology apology — also known as a fauxpology — in which he claimed the content of the message in no way “reflected who he was.”
“I apologise for the outburst that can be heard in the audios. It was in the context of a personal conversation, it’s not in line with my way of acting nor does it reflect who I am, and I regret that some people are taking advantage of it,” he tweeted.
In the voice message, Triaca can be heard calling Heredia a “pelotuda” — an Argentine insult that might translate to “dumbass”, but generally means “stupid,” “inept” or “idiotic.”
“Sandra, don’t come. Don’t come or I’ll tell you to fuck off. You, dumbass!” he says.
The Labour Minister, who will this year face off against strong opposition toward a proposed labour reform package, said in a radio interview that he had become angry with Heredia when both she and his wheelchair were missing from the estate he owns on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where he was expecting guests.
“I had warned her the day before that she had to be there, [the insult] was a result of that stress about having to meet people without my chair,” he told Radio Mitre.
In response to Heredia’s accusation that half of her salary had been paid to her ‘under the table,’ Triaca’s response was: “She had a formal contract”. He also claimed that his brother was Heredia's boss.
Heredia's lawyers yesterday said they will seek damages on their client's behalf.