On Thursday, Mexico’s lame-duck president Felipe Calderon announced he will attempt to formally change the country’s name by taking “United States” out of it.
Mexico is officially referred to as “United Mexican States” or “Estados Unidos Mexicanos.” Calderon would like the country to be officially recognized as “Mexico.”
As the Associated Press notes, the “United Mexican States” name was adopted “in 1824 after independence from Spain in imitation” of America, but the name is “rarely used except on official documents, money and other government material.”
Calderon, who leaves office on Dec. 1, first proposed the name change when he was a congressman in 2003 and said at the press conference that Mexico doesn’t need to copy the United States anymore.
“Mexico doesn’t need a name that emulates another country and that no one uses on a daily basis,” Calderon said.
According to reports, Calderon is tapping into the “resentment” Mexicans have of the United States, a country many Mexicans consider “a larger and more powerful northern neighbor that’s often seen as ignoring or looking down its nose at Mexico.”
“It’s time for Mexicans to return to the beauty and simplicity of the name of our country, Mexico,” Calderon said. “A name that we chant, that we sing, that makes us happy, that we identify with, that fills us with pride.”
Calderon was resoundingly mocked on Twitter by Mexicans who felt the outgoing president should be more concerned about economic issues and the violence related to the drug trade that has been plaguing the country.