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Mexico releases then retracts official bicentennial song

August 23, 2010 |  1:34 pm

Mexico's Public Education Ministry, the third federal agency to take over the organization of upcoming bicentennial celebrations, proudly unveiled last week the official song for the festivities, a bouncy tune by pop star Alexs Syntek.

But once the song -- titled "The Future Is Millennial" -- was uploaded onto YouTube, reaction was almost uniformly negative, almost brutal. The criticism must have stung because now officials are saying, "Nevermind."

Over the weekend, a ministry spokesman said in a radio interview that the bicentennial events do not have an official song after all. Syntek's track, co-written with composer Jaime Lopez, is just intended to "motivate" the festivities, the official said.

A day after the song was made public, Syntek announced on Twitter that the reaction was so strong and personal against him that he is temporarily leaving the social networking service, referring to the "hundreds of people nailing their fists into my stomach."

Syntek's now unofficial official bicentennial song is embedded below.

As the bicentennial date nears, Sept. 16, Mexico is clearly not unified in expectation. In a letter to the editor in Monday's edition of La Jornada, a group of university students proposes that instead of spending millions of pesos on a party, the government should give out scholarships to the many young people in Mexico who cannot afford a higher education (link in Spanish).

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

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