Victoria Villarruel, Argentina’s far-right candidate for vice president, has been consistently criticized for her support of the 1976-83 dictatorship’s torturers and her promise to reverse the legalization of abortion.
But now, she is facing criticism from a surprising source: fans of the popular K-pop group BTS.
The BTS in Argentina account tweeted that they reject the hateful and xenophobic remarks made by candidate Victoria Villarruel towards the image of BTS.
BTS fans in Argentina are furious over a series of 2020 tweets resurfaced by Villarruel, including one where she implied that the band’s name sounded like an STD.
The South Korean group, consisting of seven members, has become a global sensation in the music industry. They are one of the few groups, following in the footsteps of the Beatles, to achieve four No. 1 albums in the United States within a span of two years.
Villarruel expressed their frustration on Wednesday with a post about receiving an overwhelming amount of notifications for old, humorous discussions commonly found on Twitter.
Juan Grabois, a politician from Argentina who was defeated by Sergio Massa in the August primaries for his centre-left alliance, issued a warning in response to the exchange.
“If you mess with BTS, you’re messing with me,” Grabois stated. “Don’t mess with K-pop.”
Villarruel has played a prominent role in the presidential campaign of her running mate, the eccentric populist Javier Milei, who topped the polls ahead of Sunday’s first round, but was beaten into second place by the centrist finance minister Massa.
On November 19th, Massa, aged 51, and Milei, aged 53, will go head-to-head in a second round.
Villarruel frequently utilizes social media to provoke conflicts over cultural issues, ranging from reproductive rights to height discrimination against men.
However, she saves her strongest criticism for posts discussing human rights and Indigenous rights matters.
She has frequently voiced criticisms against human rights organizations, implying that a Milei administration would terminate their government funding. Additionally, she has regularly targeted the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo campaign group, which was established by family members of those who were victims of the dictatorship.
Villarruel has expressed disapproval towards the display of LGBTQ+ and Indigenous community flags in classrooms. She believes that if she and Milei were elected, this “indoctrination” and erasure of our national identity would cease.