How jihadist terrorists cut short the dreams of two Mexican women

Michelli Gil, who lived in Paris for seven years, planned on marrying her Italian fiancée Nohemí González, who was from California, wanted to stay in France to improve her French

Michelli Gil, a Mexican national from Veracruz, who was killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Michelli Gil, a Mexican national from Veracruz, who was killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Neither of the two had reached the age of 30, and they both had come to the French capital to study at university.

Mexican national Michelli Gil and Nohemí González, who was born in California to Mexican migrants, both had their dreams cut short during last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

They were dining with friends, but at different restaurants, when the coordinated attacks took place.

Nohemí, who was in a student exchange program, wanted to spend more time in Paris to improve her French. Michelli, on the other hand, had been living in the city for the past seven years and had planned on marrying her Italian fiancée, Filo.

It was just 18 days before her death that Michelli, who also had Spanish nationality, announced on her Facebook page that she was going to marry Filo, who is a musician.

But her dream ended when she was gunned down at the Belle Epoque restaurant, one of the sites the terrorists had targeted in their string of attacks.

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The Tuxpan, Veracruz native had worked at the restaurant at one point, and so decided to go there with her friends that night for dinner.

It was 9.36pm when the terrorists opened fire at the customers who were enjoying their meal at the establishment, located on Charonne street near the Bataclan music venue, the site of the biggest bloodbath that evening.

Michelli, who had been working at another restaurant located in the 11th arrondissement, was one of 19 who were killed at Belle Epoque. Nine others were seriously wounded.

The daughter of a businessman, the 27-year-old had originally traveled to Paris to study at the Emylon School of Business. She had completed her studies in international trade at the University of the Americas in Puebla, near Mexico City.

Her fiancée, who was also in the area, survived the attacks. On Facebook, Filo said his last goodbyes: “Ti amo amore mio. Riposa in pace.” (I love you, my love. Rest in peace.)

A picture of Nohemí González at a memorial outside the French Embassy in Mexico City.
A picture of Nohemí González at a memorial outside the French Embassy in Mexico City.

Nohemí always wanted to go to Paris and wasn’t satisfied until she accomplished her dream. Along with 16 others, she was part of an exchange program sponsored by California State University (CSULB) in Long Beach.

Her mother told reporters later that Nohemí was thrilled by the experience and wanted to stay a few months longer to improve her French.

She had big dreams, she was very happy, and hoped for a different life” Nohemí ’s mother

A 23-year-old industrial design student, Nohemí was dining with friends at a Cambodian restaurant when the terrorists appeared. The other university students who were with her escaped unharmed, but Nohemí was hit by the automatic gunfire. She died on the way to a hospital.

“She had big dreams, she was very happy, she loved the university, and hoped for a different life,” her mother told Associated Press.

At CSULB, the faculty and students held a memorial service on Sunday. More than 200 people showed up to remember the “smiling and positive” young woman who conquered her dream, which was to live in Paris.

English version by Martin Delfín.


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