Bolivian goatherd may be 123, making him oldest person ever

Aug. 16, 2013 at 12:20 AM

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Bolivian goatherd with documents that show his age as 123 may be the oldest man alive and the oldest authenticated person who has ever lived.

Carmelo Flores Laura lives in Frasquia, a village 5 hours from the capital, La Paz, and a 2-hour walk from the nearest road, the BBC reported.

He has outlived two of his three sons but has 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren, La Razon newspaper in La Paz reported.

In an interview broadcast by the BBC, Flores attributed at least some of his longevity to the varied diet of his youth with animals like lizards on the menu.

Previously, the longest documented lifespan was that of Jeanne Calment, who died in Arles, France, in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days. Calment had the distinction of being the last living person to have met the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, who died earlier this year at 116 years and 54 days, had the longest documented life for a man.

The documentation for Flores' age is a baptismal certificate. At the time he was born, Bolivia was still several decades away from registering births with the civil authorities.

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