Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre

…with open arms we are waiting for you, little brother, because the only crime you committed was to be a student and to want to better yourself, to be someone in life. But these heartless people took you. They snatched away these hopes of being someone in life. You are like a little bird that flies and flies, but along the way they trapped you and cut your wings when you were just learning to fly. But we know and we trust in God that you will come back to us, to your three sisters and to all the family, to be able to realize your dreams.

- The family of Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre 

Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre is the only son of Clemente Rodriguez and Luz Maria Telumbre of the Santiago neighborhood, in Tixtla. When he wasn’t helping his mother and grandmother Cristi make tortillas to sell at the market, he would move furniture out of the way in order to dance with his sisters Carmen, Fabiola, and Maribel. His favorites were traditional songs like “El Zopilote (The Buzzard)” or “La iguana.” Christian is a talented dancer and joined the Folkloric Dance Club of Tixtla, paying for the lessons himself. Here he mastered the repertoire of ten regional dances and enjoyed performing on Sundays in the Tixtla center square. He dreams of performing Tierra Caliente, and Sinaloa in the Palacio de  Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In the room where Christian rehearsed regional dance are his white ankle boots, with which he used to perform. His teacher keeps them for when he returns.

The family has a small plot of land and Christian planted what he could; taking care of the lemon trees, limes and guavas, the chickens and pigs. He is dedicated to taking care of the land and animals. Christian’s dream is to study Agronomy, and he hoped to attend the Autonomous University of the State of Guerrero, in Iguala. Since his older sister was in a paid college, the family resources were not enough to also send Christian, so he decided to become a teacher, then work and save for the additional education.

The last time Luz María Telumbre saw her son was September 25, 2014. He had asked permission from the school to visit his family and arrived home early in the morning. His mother prepared chocolate atole for him and they had lunch together. Luz María could see a change in her son from his experience at Ayotzinapa: he valued things more, talked about companionship, and helped with the housework. Christian said that since he had already made it through the difficult testing period in the Normal that he would stay there to study. He sounded happy. Clemente and Luz Maria brought Christian back to Ayotzinapa that evening. The family is waiting for their beloved son to return.

*****

On July 7, 2020, nearly six years after the 43 students were forcibly disappeared, a new forensic science study identified a foot-bone fragment belonging to Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre.

Omar Gómez Trejo, head of the special unit of the attorney general’s office charged with reinvestigating the case, announced that the fragment found in a ravine in November 2019 was subjected to DNA analysis this year at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. 

Their conclusion was analyzed by the Argentinian Forensic Anthropology Team, who confirmed the report from Innsbruck.

The identification of Christian confirms that the historical truth was a fabrication that violated the right to the truth. The families of the 43 and the thousands of families with missing persons have the right to the truth. Christian's identification shows the relevance of promoting extraordinary forensic identification mechanisms, with international accompaniment.

Christian's family will not give up on their son and continue their search, until they find him.

Running for Ayotzinapa 43 does not accept donations. There are no fees or sales associated with the running club.

Singlets and t-shirts are provided free to runners and supporters.

We are grateful for the support and contributions of Almeida Photography, Blanka Amezkua, Gustavo Martinez, Malú Huacuja del Toro, Semillas, Somos Los Otros, Tryno Maldonado, all the runners and their families, and from so many more of you.