William Molinie//Photo credits: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP 08:05, January 03, 2024

The Minister of the Interior travels to Marseille on Wednesday for a two-day visit. It will be about security as France's second city has experienced a black year of shootings in 2023 related to drug trafficking.

Gérald Darmanin in the field. The Minister of the Interior is in Marseille on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the issue of security. The Phocaean city is still mired in drug trafficking. The Minister of the Interior will try to forget the year 2023, a black year concerning the settling of scores in the second city of France.

A devastating toll

Never before has drug trafficking claimed so many victims in Marseille: 49 people lost their lives and 118 injured in 2023 linked to drug trafficking. Gunfights rule the city day and night. And at least four collateral deaths are to be deplored in 2023.

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These serial settling of scores against a backdrop of drug trafficking are mostly linked to a vendetta. Two clans of smugglers share at least half of the city's deal points. Faced with this devastating toll, Place Beauveau is reassuring: "police work is bearing fruit", insists Gérald Darmanin's entourage.

A new company of CRS

More than 70 members of these two criminal organizations have been imprisoned and 300 additional police officers took up their posts in Marseille last September. A new CRS company has set up in the city, the CRS 81, created on the model of the CRS 8, which specialises in urban violence.

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The resources are certainly important, but it is difficult to know how they could stop this spiral of violence, as drug trafficking has woven its web in the Phocaean city.