Felipe Calderon. Photo by Reuters
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has one non-urgent item
pending on his agenda in the dying days of his presidency - he
wants to change his country's name.
Calderon has sent a bill to Congress to change the
constitution to tweak his nation's official name from Estados
Unidos Mexicanos, or United States of Mexico, to plain old
Mexico - as the country is already known the world over.
Mexico was given its name of Estados Unidos Mexicanos in the
19th century, when the country's post-revolutionary founders
harked to the United States of America as an example of
democracy and freedom to follow.
"The name of our country no longer needs to emulate that of
other nations," Calderon said. "Forgive me for the
expression, but Mexico's name is Mexico."
The country's name is derived from the nomadic Mexica tribe
that in 1325 settled present-day Mexico City, which later
grew into the imperial Aztec capital before succumbing to
Spanish conquerors two centuries later.
Calderon staked his presidency on the much larger issue of
fighting the country's drug cartels, and about 60,000 people
have died in drug violence during his term. The bloodshed
hurt his National Action Party's candidate in a presidential
election in July.
He hands Mexico's reins to president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto
of the Institutional Revolutionary Party on December 1.