Mexican Woman Passes Away as Oldest Human Being Ever

By Fernanda Duque Hernández

Leandra Becerra was survived by 75 great-grandchildren and 55 great-great-grandchildren.

Leandra Becerra was born on August 31st, 1887 in a little town of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. She was witness to some of the most important moments of the last century including World War I, World War II, the Mexican Revolution, the Cold War and the Internet Era. She passed away on March 19th at her home in Zapopan in the state of Jalisco. Her registered age at the time of her death should make her the oldest human being in history.

In a communiqué posted on its website, the Zapopan branch of Mexico’s National System for Integral Family Development (DIF) announced her passing. Though Becerra lost her birth certificate 40 years ago, the communiqué confirmed that her age was certified by judges from the Jalisco register office who issued a notarized birth certificate in 2009, following an arduous investigation with legal assessment from the Zapopan DIF.

Leandra was completely lucid during her last days. "She was always a woman who fought,” said her granddaughter, Miriam Avelar to the New York Post and the Telegraph. “She was still sewing and weaving until about two years ago. She never ceased to be active, that's why we think she's lived so long."

Leandra Becerra Lumbreras

Her family shared that Leandra used to retell her adventures as an “Adelita” – a female soldier during the Mexican Revolution – and how she met the iconic Pancho Villa and how she raised 5 children all on her own. She was always an active woman, enjoyed tortillas, nopales, beans and chocolate. She also used to sleep for long periods of time, two or three days in a row sometimes.

Although her family made repeated claims to the Guinness Book of World Records to recognize the spritely centenarian as the oldest woman alive, the efforts were fruitless due to the absence of her original birth certificate. The title has been granted to Misao Okawa from Japan, who was 117 years old at the time of this article’s publication. Also according to the book’s official page, the oldest woman in the history of the world was the French, Jeanne Louse Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

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