Republic of Bermeja

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Republic of Bermeja
Flag of Bermeja.svg
Flag

Capital cityPuerto Libre
Official language(s)Spanish
DemonymBermejan(s)
Bermejense(s)
GovernmentPresidential republic
- PresidentEsteban Alejándrez Espino
- Vice PresidentNoemí Huerta Rojas
LegislatureChamber of Deputies
EstablishedAugust 5, 2005
Population34 (2015)
CurrencyBermejan peso
Time zoneUTC−06:00

Bermeja, officially the Republic of Bermeja (Spanish: República de Bermeja), is a micronation based in the Gulf of Mexico, laying claim to several atolls as well as the historically disputed island of the same name.

Etymology

First mention of the island was made in 1539 in a publication called El Yucatán e Islas Adyacentes (English: "The Yucatan and Adjacent Islands") by Alonso de Santa Cruz. The following year, Alonso de Chaves wrote that, from a distance, the small island looked "blondish or reddish" or bermeja in Spanish.

History

The micronation was founded on 5 August 2005 at Cayos Arcas in the Gulf of Mexico by six friends (who refer to themselves as los fundadores, "the founders" in English) during a sailing holiday. These founders, who would all go on to have prominent roles in the early part of the the micronation's history, were: Esteban Alejándrez Espino, Pablo Echevarría Pérez, Gabino Herrera González, Elena Lleyes Cazador, Jaime Molina Rodríguez and Juan Poniente Moreno.

Initially, the group thought they had discovered an uncharted reef before realising they were in the Cayos Arcas of Mexico. This incident reminded them of the so called "ghost island" of Bermeja, an island claimed by Mexico and which appeared on maps as recently as the 1940s but which has subsequently failed to be found.

Based on this, and the fact that the Cayos Arcas had never been permanently inhabited, the friends decided to establish a micronation centred on the island and founded upon their own political beliefs. These beliefs would later be referred to as Las Cinco Libertades Fundamentales ("The Five Fundamental Freedoms") and would go on to be commemorated in the national flag in the form of a white (or pure) five-pointed star.

The Constitution of Bermeja and Charter of Fundamental Rights were drafted and approved by the constituent assembly (made up of the six founders) on 15 August 2005 and the first general elections were held on 21 August 2005. Those elected assumed their offices on 25 August 2005.

Politics

Bermeja is a presidential republic and a representative democracy with three separate, co-equal branches of power: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The President of Bermeja heads the executive branch and executes laws passed by the Chamber of Deputies, appoints the Cabinet, and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President and Vice President run for office on the same ticket and are elected by direct vote for 4-year terms. The national legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, is unicameral and has 13 members.

Judicial authority rests with the Supreme Court. It has 3 members, including the President of the Supreme Court, who are appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Chamber of Deputies.

Bermeja has a multi-party system.

Geography

The micronation lays claim to following islands and reefs in the Gulf of Mexico:

Despite their oceanic location and fairly humid climate, the islands have a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). There is little variation in average temperatures, though the winter months from December to March are noticeably more cool. Precipitation is scarce throughout the year but is more abundant from June to October, which coincides with the hurricane season which semi-regularly effects the islands.