Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001 | 8:33 a.m.
In 1963, Peter Jaramillo was part of a group of Ecuadorean citizens unhappy with what had been a seemingly endless string of military coups and dictatorships.
But his efforts to bring democracy to the struggling South American nation that 133 years earlier had seceded from the Great Colombia Republic fell short.
"Some of us tried to have a democratic election, (but) we lost," Jaramillo told the Sun in an April 1, 1981, story. "I was then 'invited' by the government to leave the country."
In 1981 Jaramillo was welcomed back with open arms by the new democratic government of Ecuador, which named him general consul for Las Vegas.
Peter G. Jaramillo, who long owned a successful commercial real estate development business in Las Vegas that operated among other properties the Best Western Mardi Gras and El Inca motels, died Thursday at University of California at San Diego Thorton Hospital. He was 74.
Services for the Las Vegas resident of 38 years will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Wednesday at Palm Mortuary Downtown. A Rosary will be said at 7 p.m. A graveside service will be 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Palm Downtown.
Born Feb. 2, 1927, Jaramillo was part of a family that ran a successful wheat and flour business near the Ecuadorian capital of Quito.
After being forced to leave his homeland, Jaramillo came to Las Vegas, where he founded Nevadaian Corp., a commercial real estate business.
In 1979 Jaramillo received good news from Ecuador when the military junta made a peaceful transfer of power to a democratic government.
In that role, Jaramillo specifically promoted travel to Las Vegas by citizens of Ecuador and generally promoted travel by North Americans to South America.
Jaramillo was a member of the Southwest Rotary Club, the Greater Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas Board of Realtors.
He is survived by his wife, Ginette Jaramillo; two sons, Jean Pierre Jaramillo and Philippe Jaramillo; a daughter, Michele Jaramillo, all of Las Vegas; and six grandchildren.