Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman, currently holds the record for world's oldest living person. (Credit: Reuters)
Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman, currently holds the record for world's oldest living person. A 116-year-old Peruvian named Filomena Taipe Mendoza claims to be three months older, thus making her the oldest person in the world.Reuters

A 116-year-old woman living in extreme poverty in Peru is claiming to be the oldest living person in the world.

Filomena Taipe Mendoza was born on 20 December, 1897, at least that is the date on her identity card, according to Peru's Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion.

The date of birth suggests that Mendoza is three months older than Japan's Misao Okawa, who currently holds the title of the world's oldest living person.

The Guinness World Records and the US-based Gerontology Research Group named Okawa, born on 5 March 1898, the world's oldest person after the death of 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura, also a Japanese, on 12 June, 2013

Mendoza lives in extremely poor conditions in a village in Huancavelica in the heart of the Andes. She recently got her first pension under a retirement programme for seniors living in extreme poverty.

"I am not of the past century, young man, but the other one... I am very old," she was quoted as saying by the ministry, the AFP reported.

She revealed secrets of her long life and how she faced hardships.

"My secret to longevity is a natural diet: I always ate potatoes, goat meat, sheep milk, goat cheese and beans," said Mendoza, who has never stepped out of her village.

"Everything I cook comes from my garden. I never had canned soft drinks.

"I had a very hard life, I was very a young widow with nine dependent children and I worked hard to raise them. Only three of them are alive."

The pension programme will ensure that Mendoza now gets free medical care and receive about $90 (£53) every month.

But Mendoza also has another desire - "I wish I still had teeth," she says.