Published February 02, 2012
| Fox News Latino
The battle over who is the world’s oldest living person continues.
Cubana Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodríguez claimed that she turned 127, which would make her 12 years older than the official record holder, the 115-year Besse Cooper of Georgia. Cooper was declared the world's oldest in January of last year, after Guinness learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil died. Gomes Valentin was 48 days older than Cooper..
Bautista’s identification papers claim that she was born on Feb. 2 1885 in the town of Ceiba Hueca, where she still lives. However, her claims are not recognized internationally and the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which verifies longevity information for Guinness World Records, doubts her age.
"The evidence gives us no reason to believe the claim," Robert D. Young the Senior Claims Investigator for the Gerontology Research Group, told Fox News Latino last year. "If you take a look at the documents that she [Bautista] is showing, it looks like the document is from the 1950s."
Young also pointed out her uncharacteristic physical attributes such as talking, standing and walking with assistance. Young believes other evidence is needed to prove her age, such as a marriage certificate or documentation that proves the age of her children.
"She just doesn't exhibit the attributes of a person who would be 126 years old," Young said. "There is no such thing as a 116-year-old that can walk around, let alone a 126-year-old.”
Young added that there has never been a case of someone being 123, much less 126.
To put her alleged age in perspective, Bautista would have been born the same year that Grover Cleveland became president of the United States, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City, Louis Pasteur successfully tested an anti-rabies vaccine and the Washington Monument is dedicated.