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123-year-old Bolivian herder may be oldest man alive

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Aug. 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM   |   Comments

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Bolivian herder Carmelo Flores Laura turned 123 last month, according to the country's civil registry.

The man was born in 1890, and, if the record is accurate, is now the oldest living person ever recorded.

Flores lives in Frasquicia, a mountain village 50 miles outside La Paz. He does not wear glasses and walks without a cane.

Flores has three children, 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Flores' wife died 10 years ago.

He was 24 when World War I broke out, and 62 when Queen Elizabeth took the throne. He was 16 when Butch Cassidy fled to Bolivia, and 79 when "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was released.

He has lived through six of 17 Bolivian constitutions and 53 presidents, plus several juntas in between.

Flores credits his long life to taking long walks and never eating pasta or sugar. Instead, he eats cananhua, a wild species of quinoa.

"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," Flores said.

Flores beats out the current oldest living person, Japanese 115-year-old Misao Okawa. He takes the record from Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at age 122. To get the official title, Flores' documents must be confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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