Mob expert Antonio Nicaso told CJAD News one thing's not clear. "If this is an internal war between what remains of the Rizzuto crime family or it's something guided or inspired from another criminal organization who tried to gain more power in Montreal", said Nicaso. Nicaso added external crime groups trying to expand their power include, organized crime in Ontario, the Hells Angels or other street gangs.
The fall of the Rizzuto dynasty, or le clan sicilien, was first mentioned in newspaper articles in early 2010, correct? And is now being written about again in the media. But the attacks on members of the Montreal Mafia hierarchy over the years of the most recent war have claimed victims who were non-Sicilians in the group, i.e., Rocco Sollecito (the leader of the so-called "Sicilian clan"?!) and Lorenzo Giordano. And many of us have speculated since 2010 or 2011 that Francesco Arcadi (Calabrian) has had a target on his back all these years because of, among other possible reasons, his very important position in the Rizzuto organization. Sollecito and Arcadi had important connections in Italy, and one wonders whether Sollecito's died with him and whether Arcadi's are crucially relevant to a possible ascension to power once he's out of prison for good. (Daniel Renaud considers Stefano Sollecito to be officially, on paper, the current leader of the Montreal Mafia; I will write something about Stefano soon in the Rizzuto associate "Joe Bravo" resurfaces in Sicily thread.)
Keep in mind, as well, that the murder of Angelo D'Onofrio in early June of this year was considered a case of mistaken identity--the supposed target was Tony Vanelli, a stalwart in the old Cotroni-Violi group who, like many in this group, did not even have Calabrian ancestry. So then the media speculation was that anyone considered part of the old guard was being targeted by the new guard.
The leader in Montreal of the so-called "Calabrian faction," or le clan calabrais, is the French-Canadian Raynald Desjardins (who, in my opinion, still wields a lot of influence from prison).
After Paolo Violi was murdered in January 1978, the FBI identified Joe Di Maulo one to six months after Violi's death as the acting leader of the Montreal Mafia. Di Maulo's ancestry was from Campobasso in Molise, not from Calabria. So if the FBI intelligence was correct, there is a precedent that an acting leader of the Montreal Mafia has been neither Sicilian nor Calabrian for at least just a short period of time. If an individual does emerge after the current mob war as someone who will be recognized universally or by most as the Montreal godfather, he need not have Sicilian or Calabrian ancestry; I wouldn't be surprised if this person has ancestry from another region in Italy. But I doubt this will be someone from outside of Montreal.
Canada's three largest commercial marine ports are to be found in Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver--it is the last that is the principal marine gateway into Canada, not Montreal. Although the Port of Montreal is still strategically important for Canadian organized-crime groups involved in drug trafficking, it isn't the only Canadian port used by such groups. Over the decades, the Rizzuto organization, for example, has used the Port of Halifax. The Siderno Group in the Greater Toronto Area does not need "control" of the Port of Montreal.
Some current newspaper stories about what the killing of the recently murdered Vincenzo Spagnolo means are citing Mafia inc. co-author André Cédilot's theory that the "Calabrian faction" in Montreal, along with influence from the Ontario 'ndrangheta and the Hells Angels, is behind the current mayhem. But Cédilot and his co-author are the ones who misidentified the ancestry of a number of important Montreal Mafia figures and other criminals in their 2010 book; the authors also made other significant errors that, to me, reveal a lack of understanding of the history and relationship between the Italian underworlds of Toronto and Montreal. One retired Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officer, John Galianos, is quoted in a recent article about Spagnolo's murder as follows: "It could be some of the younger guys or from the opposing group in Toronto who is trying to take over, the Paolo Violi group,” Galianos said. “His sons are in Ontario and taking care of things there, there is some sort of revenge going on.” The problem is, there is no Paolo Violi group in Toronto. The Luppino-Violi group in Hamilton is assumed to be a 'ndrina--and that's my take on it too after all these years--although it's worth noting that, significantly, Giacomo Luppino was caught saying in a bugged conversation that there are no mafia indoctrination rites or ceremonies (he was laughing at a TV portrayal of such rites).
What is laughable is that the theory of a takeover of the Montreal Mafia by Calabrian crime groups in Ontario has been strongest when Vito Rizzuto was imprisoned and after his death. So when he was alive and out of prison, the whole of the Canadian 'ndrangheta, it seems, was unable to make good on its mission to take over Montreal. Does that say something about the power of the Greater Toronto Area Siderno Group?
I am very intrigued about which individuals or groups could be behind the high-profile murders of Sollecito and Giordano because, insofar as the two killings are related--I think those two were targeted because they were on the same side but I can't be sure--the possible suggestion is that the individuals or groups behind the murders are far more powerful than Sollecito and Giordano ever were. But of course this isn't the only possibility--maybe a smaller unknown faction is responsible; maybe what is left of a certain faction in the mob war is redoubling its efforts; maybe alliances are being forged between groups previously opposed to each other. Time will tell.