24 Nov 2012

President wants to change country's name to Mexico

6:03 am on 24 November 2012

President Felipe Calderon of Mexico has sent a bill to Congress to change the country's official name.

The current name - the United States of Mexico - was adopted in 1824 after independence was gained from Spain, and was intended to emulate its northern neighbour.

However, the full name is rarely used and the president wants to change it simply to Mexico.

Mr Calderon, who leaves office on 1 December, said Mexico no longer needed to copy any foreign power.

"Forgive me for the expression, but Mexico's name is Mexico," he said on Thursday.

The name United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos) was brought in after independence from Spain. It is used mostly on official documents, money and other government material.

Mr Calderon previously suggested the name change as a Congressman in 2003, but the bill did not make it to a vote.