Don Chuy, Mexico’s oldest man, has died at the age of 121.
Jesús Castillo Rangel was born on October 24, 1896, in the Soconusco region of Chiapas. Fourteen years later, a few days after his birthday, he joined the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
Castillo fought alongside General Pimentel, traveling throughout southern Mexico until they joined forces with General Emiliano Zapata. His stint as a revolucionario is recorded for posterity in the Mexican National General Archive.
After an eventful youth, Castillo married in 1922 and he and his wife remained together for 90 years until her passing in 2012 at the age of 104.
Castillo and his wife moved to the town of Nicolás Bravo, located 80 kilometres from Chetumal, in 1989 when he was 93.
“I fought for the redistribution of the land . . . I fought in order to have land and today, many years later, I’ve come to live here, in my house, where with the support of the authorities and my friends I feel content. I am well,” he said during an interview in 2014, as he celebrated his 118th birthday.
The Castillos had two sons with whom they lost touch over the years, but Jesús Castillo recently learned that both are still alive. “I spoke with one, the one who’s 74 years old. The one who’s 81 did not speak to me,” he told the newspaper Novedades Quintana Roo earlier this year.
That interview was held one day after Castillo turned 121. Mentally alert as ever, the oldest man in Mexico woke up on the day of his birthday, opened his window and breathed in the morning breeze.
“I gave thanks to the one that made the earth and the skies, I said ‘Thank you Lord, for allowing me to turn 121 years old.'”
One of Castillo’s neighbors told Novedades in October that he usually walked around the neighborhood every day. “He’s a strong man, healthy, a good person and very respectful,” said Rosarion Aguilar at the time.
Castillo was feted on his birthday by staff of the federal Secretariat of Social Development (Sedesol), who took him a small cake. Neighbors supplied coffee and cookies.
The elderly man received his guests “overflowing with joy.”
The Sedesol representatives kept tabs on Carillo, who was a beneficiary of the 65 y Más (65 and Over) pension and the community kitchen service, two support programs managed by the agency. They also provided medical care recently after he fell ill with pneumonia and had to be admitted to hospital.
Don Chuy, who was born as Porfirio Díaz began his sixth term as president, died yesterday in Nicolás Bravo, Quintana Roo.
Source: Sipse – Novedades Quintana Roo (sp)