Celino Villanueva Jaramillo, a Chilean citizen born on 25 July 1896, died in hospital in the city of Mariquina, Los Ríos region, this Wednesday at 5:49am.
The information was confirmed by the Secretary of Health, Emilio Santelices, and by the regional government.
In their statements, both greeted and remembered those who “are suffering with his loss” and the people “who looked after him with love and dedication for years”.
He was admitted on 11 April after falling from his bed, breaking three ribs and ending up with a punctured lung.
Mr Villanueva was considered to be Chile’s oldest person and also the oldest to walk on planet Earth; nevertheless, he was never verified as such.
He lost his birth certificate and an array of other documents issued by the Civil Registry and Identification Service in a fire in his eighties.
After a life’s work as a farmer, he was made redundant when he turned 80 and was replaced by a younger person, his boss informed him at the time.
It was then when, with a scanty pension, he rented the dilapidated shack in which not only did he lose his official identification documents, but also all of his possessions.
Thus, lacking formal proof of his birth date, the Guinness World Records did not include him in the select group currently led by 117-year-old Nabi Tajima, from Japan.
Nonetheless, the Civil Registry does keep archival records of all the inscriptions, what allowed him to carry the country’s ID, a “carnet”.
A bachelor, Celino also died without offspring, but was taken care of -as of age 99- by Marta Ramírez, who was 65 at the time.
“I didn’t think he’d be around that much longer,” Ramírez, now 85, told Britain’s The Guardian earlier this year.
Villanueva was born the same year of the first modern Olympic Games, when Utah became the 45th state, gold was discovered in Yukon, the UK’s Daily Mail issued is first copies and Ford produced its first motor vehicle.
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