Gerontology Wiki
Carmen Pastenes
Birth: 16 July 1800?
Arauco, Arauco Province, Captaincy General of Chile (now Chile)
Death: 29 March 1933
Chuquicamata, Antofagasta Region, Chile
Age: 132 years, 256 days?
Country: ChileCHL
Longevity myth

Carmen Pastenes (16 July 1800? – 29 March 1933) was a Chilean longevity myth and war soldier who was claimed to lived at 133 years old, although this has not been confirmed.


Carmen Pastenes claimed to have been born in Arauco, Arauco Province, Captaincy General of Chile (now Chile) on 16 July 1800 to unknown parents. She had at least one son whose name was Ignacio.

She fought in the War of the Pacific in 1880/1881 at the claimed age of 80 because her son wanted him to, trying to hide the fact she was a woman. To do so, she pretended to be a man using "Carmelo" as her name. When her son died, she stayed in the Chilean Army, until she was wounded at the battle near Huara. Then her real sex was discovered and she was given a job as a bartender. After returning to Chile she settled in the area that had been integrated after the war and in Tocopilla she worked for the industrialist Enrique Sloman. She also served as a nanny for the children of a magnate in the 20th century. In 1917, she settled in Chuquicamata.

Carmen Pastenes died in Chuquicamata, Antofagasta Region, Chile on 29 March 1933 at the claimed age of 132 years, 256 days. At the time of her death, she claimed to be the oldest person ever, last person from the 18th century by at least 24 years, and the first supercentenarian by 88 years. Upon her death, she was fired with military honors by Carabineros from the Chuquicamata unit.

Age issues

Although there are detractors of its history, there are also documents that would support it, although it is suspected that these were really created to support the myth that the oldest person of all time was Chilean. These are the death certificate, which "officially" proves his age. The military record, which certifies his presence in the "Atacama" Regiment. The tomb whose plaque bears the same information as her death certificate and which was placed by her family at the time of her death and finally, family stories that agree that Carmen went to war to avenge her son and that she died very long, although there are no reliable elements to affirm that he died at such an age.