Developing

RPT-Mexican president wants to change his country's name ... to Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Nov 22 (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 sent a bill to Congress on Thursday 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 Dec. 1.„