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Leading bag executive in Mexico dead at 87

By: Stephen Downer

February 5, 2013

MEXICO CITY -- Manuel Abascal Sainz, a leading figure in the Mexican plastics industry, died Jan. 30 at age 87.

Born in the municipality of Villacarriedo, in the northern Spanish autonomous region of Cantabria, in 1926, he left post-Civil War Spain in 1947 to seek his fortune in Mexico.

Such was his success in business and his unstinting support for his native region that the Cantabrian authorities honored him on several occasions in the latter years of his life, the last of them in 2011, recognizing him as one of the region's "most illustrious sons."

By the 1960s he was deeply involved in the burgeoning Mexican plastics industry and founded several bag-making companies, including Minigrip de México, Plásticos de Cantabria SA de CV and Carredana de Empaques SA de CV (Cadesa).

All three companies continue to operate in or near the Mexico City metropolitan area and are major suppliers of low and high density oxy biodegradable polyethylene bags for supermarkets and other commercial establishments, among other products.

"With his passing one of the finest symbols of those Cantabrians who emigrated to the Americas and who, throughout their lives, demonstrated a desire to retain the memories, the contacts and the origins of their native land has gone," the Government of Cantabria said in a news release.