In the beginning, CIA arms, money, and disinformation enabled Corsican
criminal syndicates in Marseille to wrestle control of labor unions from
the Communist Party. The Corsicans gained political influence and
control over the docks — ideal conditions for cementing a long-term
partnership with mafia drug distributors, which turned Marseille into
the postwar heroin capital of the Western world. Marseille’s first
heroin laboratones were opened in 1951, only months after the Corsicans
took over the waterfront.