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“I think that the Latinamerican community is in period of change; Alberto Palomeque ( Eskilstuna; Sweden) 

“I think that the Latinamerican community is in period of change; Alberto Palomeque ( Eskilstuna; Sweden)
An exclusive interview. Alberto Palomeque; Project Manager of the Bolivian association of Eskilstuna (Sweden) with Paola Aparicio Cavero; Chief Corresponded, International Desk of The Oslo Times.
Q1. Mr Palomeque, tell me how you can describe the democracy in Sweden?
Palomeque: My opinion is that Sweden is a very open democratic country. There is of course, depending to whom is in charge of the government, some alignment to a specific politic that always influences on how to deal with the democratic values and principals. But in general, I think that Sweden fulfills the expectation that are required from a country that is perceived among the most democratic societies.

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Alberto Palomeque; Project Manager of the Bolivian association of Eskilstuna (Sweden).

 

Q2. What does freedom of speech / self expression means to you? 

Palomeque: For me, freedom of speech / self expression are part of the fundamental basics of a democracy. I want to call freedom of expression instead. The tricky questions is, is there any limitation about what is included in it? or is there a framework that define what is permitted or what is not, e.g. Is that ok to public insult or degrade individuals, groups of people, symbols etc…. and invokes the freedom of speech for that? I think the key words are; consideration and respect. Including both, consideration and respect, when we express anything; I would state that in a democratic society the freedom of expression shouldn’t be delimited.

Q3. Tell something about immigrants of Latinamerica here in Eskilstuna, are they integrated in the society or are they still struggling to integrate to the swedish society? 

Palomeque: I don’t have a really good knownledge about all people from latinamerica here in Eskilstuna. My perception is that the people from latinamerica connected to the Bolivian Association in Eskilstuna (Bolivianska Föreningen i Eskilstuna) are well integrated in the society. That association are taking in many other nationalities from, more all and less, all parts of the world. The board of the organization is a good example about how well that association is integrated or is part of the Swedish society; At least 50% of the members of the board are swedish, 80% are women, and only 30% are from Bolivian or have a relation with relatives from Bolivia. Unfortunately, during the last years part of the bolivians that created the association are becoming less active in the planned events and activities.

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Bolivian Association of Eskilstuna.

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Bolivian Association of Eskilstuna.

 

Q4. What kind of support do you receive from the community in Eskilstuna. 
Palomeque: The municipality support to the association is mostly / only financially; The association received a low yearly subsidy to rent of the premises, subject to fulfill the approval conditions. Besides that, like any other organization we can also apply for sponsorship when specific events are planned.
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Bolivian Association of Eskilstuna.
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Bolivian Association of Eskilstuna.
Q5. How do you look at the Latinamerican government from here in Sweden?
 Palomeque: I think that the latinamerican community is in period of change; from cruel autocracies into fragile democracies. In general, the democracy as such is new and growing up in most of the countries in latinamerica. This transition period, like any other, demands many years of social conflicts indeed. I have a sense that during the last years some countries are more and more stabilizing this process and by that getting more solid economy. Some challenges of course are in the front, to get good basic common social services like a good health insurance for all or secure a really high level in the public education system.

Q6. In which ways is this festival important for you and other member in the Bolivian association in Eskilstuna? 

Palomeque: There are many aspects connected to this show, let me bring two of them:

–  The first is of course to present Bolivia from different perspectives and do this with different tools.
We have the all cultures which are really extent and varied, linked to different periods, areas and social development.
The tools; we are using the dance as central part of the show, but both video / pictures and narration are also used as a complement in order to tell the story
– This show is also important from a social perspective, I mean now here in Eskilstuna. More than 70 people are involved in the show, all these people comes from different countries / cultures. This is a multicultural project and demonstrate that we can work together and achieve great results, even if this show is an amateur production, the result is not far away from a professional performance.

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Bolivian Association of Eskilstuna.

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  • The views and opinions published in this interview belong solely to the interviewee do not represent any view or opinion held by The Oslo Times International News Network. The Oslo Times practices, defends and promotes freedom of expression. The published interview is in accordance with Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.