Why is Mexico City no longer called the Federal District?

Currently, Mexico City (CDMX) is one of the most important economic and cultural centers in the country. It is made up of 16 municipalities.

Why is Mexico City no longer called the Federal District?
How did Mexico City cease to be called Federal District? Photo by Manuel Arroyo / Unsplash

Even though the official change of the name of the country's capital was made in 2016, today a good number of people still call Mexico City Federal District (DF). One of the reasons why this situation occurs is because, for a very long time, society got used to calling the entity that way.

The story of why the name of the center of the country was changed was to give a new identity to the territory that would highlight the social, industrial, and cultural aspects. Likewise, the goal was to transform Mexico City into the 32nd state, to achieve political and legal autonomy.

It was in 1824 when Congress agreed to baptize the territory as the Federal District because it would be the seat that would house the three powers of the union: the executive, legislative and judicial. However, it was concluded that the capital was something more than "a federal entity", for that reason it was decided to give a new image to the region that would characterize the area as a cultural and political meeting place.

Although it was until January 29, 2016, when the constitutional reform was enacted, since 2010 the legal process to transform the name of the capital began. The task was carried out by the former head of government Marcelo Ebrard, as he proposed to modify Article 122 to give a new status to the DF and promote the creation of a Constitution of its own.

It should be noted that this purpose also pursued economic objectives since according to the document submitted to the Government Commission of the Legislative Assembly, another of the reasons to restructure the figure of the entity was to give a new national and international tourist promotion to the City.

One of the first steps taken to modify the denomination was to strengthen the capital's identity with the letters CDMX, which covered different public spaces such as parks, avenues, and even transportation units such as the subway, Metrobus, cabs, and trucks.

In this way, an attempt was made to communicate to the population that the country's capital was more than a political center; it was a center of work, opportunities, diversity, and encounters. Initially, this task was carried out by the government of Miguel Ángel Mancera, who was in charge of the City from 2012 to 2018.

Little by little, the representation of this place was restructured, resulting in a more cosmopolitan and fresher image. At the same time, it was explained to the citizens that the correct way to call the entity would be Mexico City, a situation that would also change the name of the delegations to mayors' offices.

According to Mexico City's official website, the former Federal District is currently the most populated city in the country, with a total of 9 million 209 thousand 944 people, where 52.2% are women and 47.8% are men".

It is also highlighted that the territory is consolidated as one of the most important financial and cultural centers of the American continent and has been ranked by The New York Times as the number 1 tourist destination to travel to.

Among the many elements that make the city stand out are different historical buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, the capital's Zócalo, and the diversity of museums and monuments that safeguard a large part of the national history.