The American Mafia as a whole was in decline by the 1970s, but the New York families weren't that much affected until the mid 80s. It wasn't until the 90s that they lost much of their power over the unions among other things. By that time the Bonannos weren't involved in the unions anymore and so were able to fly under the radar and left unscathed until the early 2000s.
This is why I said it was a steady decline, it took decades but LE eventually caught up.
It hasn't been made clear whether envelops were still being send or not after 1999. Vitale even admitted as such. Domenick Cicale, another turncoat, claimed that tribute was still being send. He also said that Massino and Rizzuto partnered a stripclub. In addition, journalist Daniel Renaud stated that Montagna was used as a go-between and reguraly traveled to Montreal in the years before his deportation.
Anyway, this discussion seems to be never-ending due to conflicting statements, opinions and preferences. And even if Massino himself comes out of the woodwork and states that he was still receiving tribute, the people believing in the 1999 indepence will probably refute it.
I get there are mixed opinions, but Vito declining to be a capo was the biggest answer to Montreal's independence. Also being a business partner with Massino is one thing and answering to him is completely another matter. Vito above all was a successful business man, he always preferred the way of diplomacy which is why he was able to remain the boss of Montreal and be on top for such a long time. Even if they did not answer to the Bonnanos, there was still a lot of business to be made (Remember, these guys transported narcotics to the US, they needed people to distribute), it should also be clear that Vito did business with other families, notably the Gambinos, so it's only natural that these families keep in touch, there's a lot of money to be made. Further proof to this, due to the power shift in Canada and the conflict in Montreal, today we are seeing more of these Canada/US relations transition to the NY families and the families in Toronto instead of Montreal, does that mean the 'Ndrangheta families of Toronto answer to New York? Absolutely not.
As for myself, I don't think or very much doubt that the Bonannos are still involved in Montreal, but I don't believe it ended in 1999, unless Massino confirms it.
The Bonnanos and all the other American families are having a hard time operating within their own turfs thank to American LE, if they're having such rough time on their own ground, I highly doubt they're capable enough to be involved in matters or control families in other countries.
Originally Posted By: dixiemafia
Great posts Brona. Only thing I might disagree with is whether this would have happened or not under Vito's reign. I think if he stayed out of prison then no chance it happens because he was simply untouchable at that point. Once he went away, it gave the Controni/Violi faction and Desjardins (who seemed to be plotting his revenge already) faction was ready to pounce at that point. They were biding their time and figured more than likely he would eventually go down and they got their chance once Massino started talking. Most like Di Maulo who knew that would sink Vito, probably let others like Desjardins who might have not known (I think he drove Di Maulo then so he probably did know already) that it was coming and they plotted their revenge once Vito started fighting extradition.
I just don't see anyone strong enough until then to attempt an overthrow of Vito.
But excellent posts!
Even if Vito did not go to jail, the Violi brothers and the Cotroni loyalists would eventually look for revenge, specially with the rise of the 'Ndrangheta families and their potential backing. The Rizzutos would have fared much better that's for sure, but a war would have happened eventually.