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123-year-old Bolivian may be world’s oldest man

Published on 16 August 2013 01:00 PM

The world's oldest person could be living in Bolivia, it has emerged.

Birth certificates did not exist when Carmelo Flores Laura was born, but the herder from the mountain village of Frasquicia, around 50 miles from the capital La Paz, owns a baptism certificate that gives his year of birth as 1890, making him 123 years old.

Baptism certificates are considered to be authentic birth documents in Bolivia.

Despite his alleged record age, Mr Flores can still walk without a stick and can see without glasses, it has been reported. He told Bolivian reporters that he puts his long life down to taking long walks and eating cananhua - a form of wild quinoa - instead of pasta or sugar.

Long walks and skunk meat

He said: 'I've never been lazy. I always shared the cooking with my wife. We would only eat what we could find growing wild. We ate mostly skunk meat. I still go on long walks every day.'

Mr Laura, who is a native Aymara, has 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. His wife died 10 years ago, according to reports. If the birth document is to be believed, he was 24 when World War I broke out and 62 when the Queen ascended to the throne.

His grandson Edwin, 27, said he was involved in the 1933 Chaco war with Paraguay, but now has only faint memories of the time.

Mr Flores also said he was not sure about how old he is. 'I should be about 100 years old or more,' he told reporters.

The official title of oldest living person in the world is currently held by 115-year-old Japanese woman Misao Okawa.

Japanese Jiroemon Kimura, who died aged 116 this year, was the man with oldest verified age on record, while Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died 16 years ago at the age of 122, was the oldest verified person ever to have lived.

If Mr Flores is to be officially named as the world's oldest person, a Guinness Book of Records official must verify his birth documents.

However, Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas said she was not aware of anyone filing a claim for him.

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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