Eulogy: Things You Didn’t Know About Jaime O. Perez, 1954–2017, QDEP

Remembering the late Jaime O. Perez.

By Miguel Juárez

Jaime was an Author/Writer

Jaime was the author of Traditional Ceremonial Pathways: A Pilgrim’s Journey (2003, Sun Circle Press) and was the translator for Tzol Ek: Mayan Astrology (1991, Communidad Indigena Maya). He was fluent (reading and writing) in Spanish and English. On January 26, 2017, Jaime wrote an opinion piece in Spanish for Paso del Norte Magazine titled: “Estados Unidos declara Guerra a Mexico, “The United States Will Declare War Against Mexico.”

Jaime was a Blogger/Podcaster/and Radio Personality

For several years he ran a podcast called WakeUpCallNews.com

He was also a blogger.  

Throughout his life, he had several radio programs. Concepcion Vasquez from San Elizario, TX, said he once had a radio program on sexuality. She said she was amazed Jaime knew so much about the topic.

Jaime was a Candidate

He was candidate for Mayor in El Paso in 2017.

He was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, Texas, District 16, 2016. Jaime ran as a Libertarian against Beto O’Rourke, and he received 17,491 votes.

Jaime was also a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, District 16, in 2014.

He was a candidate for Mayor of El Paso in 2013.  He was interviewed by Buzz Adams on May 3, 2013. He participated in the candidate’s face-off at Coronado High School.

He was also candidate for City Representative, District #7 but he withdrew on March 1, 2013.

Withdrawal: http://legacy.elpasotexas.gov/muni_clerk/_documents/2013_05_11_general_election/Withdrawal%20from%20District%207%20-%20Jaime%20O.%20Perez.pdf

Candidate, Texas State Railroad Commissioner, 2012

Jaime was a candidate for U.S. Representative against Silvestre Reyes in 2009. A San Diego Union Tribune article reported Jaime was going to raise funds for his campaign by selling tamales. He stated in the article: “My sister makes them really well.”

Texas man hopes tamale sales will fund campaign: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-texas-man-hopes-tamale-sales-will-fund-campaign-2009dec24-story.html

Jaime was a Campaign Strategist

He was a Campaign Strategist for Larry Francis in 2001 and for countless others.

Jaime led a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) effort against then Mayor Ray Caballero.

Writer Debbie Nathan wrote about him in her article titled “El Mayor vs. Los Good Old Boys,” in the Texas Observer on April 11, 2003.

Jaime was a Change Agent and Civic Leader

He was Chief of Staff for El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos.

He was an advocate for GLBT rights. In 1978, he and his friends worked against California Proposition 6, the Brigg’s Initiative in San Francisco.

Throughout his life, Jaime organized community meetings at this house around issues he cared about — the meetings were like Camp David for Raza.

Jaime was a Dancer

In addition to being a salsa dancer, when attended Brandeis, he and friends used to go dancing in bars along Lansdowne Street in Boston during the disco era.  It was at one of those bars where they saw legendary performers like Donna Summers. He and a friend once won a dance contest at an El Paso bar. They won $50 worth of drinks.

Jaime was an Educator

He taught at El Paso Community College and in various local schools.

Jaime was an Entrepreneur

He founded more than 20 active ventures.

He was editor of The Border Observer in 2006.

Jaime could have been the Ann Landers of El Paso, because he gave advice for free and just when you needed it.

Jaime was an Investment Representative

He opened Jaime O. Perez & Associates out of his home on Franklin Street.

Jaime was a Mixteca Medicine Man

He was interviewed by Bill Bluewater for Prophecy Keepers Radio.

In his interview in “Prophecy Keepers Radio” he reported on his trip to Mexico City to attend a ceremony of consecration for the “New Era” on the wisdom of the ancients.

Jaime was a Student Leader

In 1975, Jaime, Martha Hernandez, a senior from Chicago and Lawrence Rothbard from New Hyde Park, N.Y., were student leaders and negotiators at the Brandeis University campus building in protest of cuts in the university budget. They were part of a larger campus demonstration. They contended that the cuts would make the school “richer and whiter.”

See “Brandeis Students Defy Order…” in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1975/05/01/archives/brandeis-students-defy-order-from-judge-to-vacate-building.html

Above all, Jaime was a free spirit. He was a friend to many. He was a complex person, like we all are, but he was determined to change the world and better our community.

Many of us knew parts of him. His late parents, sisters and brothers and many nieces and nephews knew him better.

We have lost someone very special, but heaven is all the richer. Jaime, this is not goodbye, but like some say, “until we meet again.”

This article has been previously published in Academia.edu and Medium. Please share your favorite Jaime O. Perez story below.