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Death of Violet Brown, 117, makes Ana María Vela third-oldest person on earth
SPAIN'S Ana María Vela Rubio has been 'upgraded' to the third-oldest person on earth after the death of Jamaica's Violet Mosse-Brown aged 117-and-a-half.
Ana María (pictured), if she is still alive at the end of next month, will be celebrating her 116th birthday.
Born in Puente Genil (Córdoba province), Ana left school at age 11 and became a seamstress before moving to Catalunya in the 1940s, where she still lives.
She began going to the La Vereda nursing home on a day-centre basis aged 104 and moved in as a resident aged 109, where she has always been among at least four or five others aged over 100.
She is not bed-ridden, but every day the staff get her up and put her in a wheelchair and, although she – like many other residents – eats liquidised food, she 'eats very well' and 'doesn't look her age', staff say.
Her only surviving daughter, who visits her regularly, is aged 90 – the rest of her children have died from old age – and her grandchildren are now in their late 60s.
Ana was a compulsive bookworm when her eyesight still allowed her to be, despite her lack of formal education.
The only two people on earth older than Ana María are Chiyo Miyako, from Japan, who is five months older than Ana at 116 and four months, and the woman who now takes over from Violet Brown – Nabi Tajima, also Japanese, who is 117 and one-and-a-half months, born on August 4, 1900.
Jamaican president Andrew Holness confirmed on Twitter this morning that Violet (second picture), the last person alive on earth born when Queen Victoria was on the throne, had died.
She was born on March 10, 1900 and has been the oldest person on the planet since April this year, after the death of Italy's Emma Morano.
Spain, known for having one of the longest life expectancies on earth – currently 83 for women and 79 for men – has several residents aged 100-plus in every province and at least seven of its 17 autonomously-governed regions has one or more residents aged 110 or more.
The country is home to the third-oldest person, and third-oldest woman in the world, and also the oldest man on the planet, Francisco Núñez Olivera, who fully expects to be alive on December 13 this year when he is due to celebrate his 113th birthday.
He became the planet's oldest man in August following the death of Yisrael Kristal from Israel.
Two years ago, he became the oldest in Spain and showed he was still doing remarkably well for nearly 111, as reported here on www.thinkspain.com.
Francisco said back then that he 'would like to live another couple of years', and so far his wish has come true.
Recently, scientists placed the natural limit of human life at 125 years, but nobody is thought to have lived that long and the world record until now has been Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died aged 122.
But Mbah Gotho from Indonesia has official documentation to show he was born on December 31, 1870, meaning if he lives until New Year's Eve, he will be 147 years old.
His papers need to be independently verified to award him the title of longest-ever living human, however – others who have claimed to be older, James Olofintuyi, 172, from Nigeria and Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia, 164, were unable to prove their age officially so cannot be considered as world-record holders.
To date, Mbah Gotho's papers have not been authenticated, meaning he is still unable to claim the top spot.
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