The bloody Montreal mafia war has led to an estimated 35 murders and multiple attempts and attacks over the past few years.
According to this recent report from Daniel Renaud of La Presse leaders and influential members of the mafia in both Montreal and Toronto have been meeting in an effort to end the conflict. These meetings have been taking place since late fall according to law enforcement sources who have observed members linked to the Toronto mafia coming to Montreal to participate. It now seems like even the more hardened supporters of the former Rizzuto crime family are ready for peace although these efforts are still facing some opposition.
Stefano Sollecito who police consider to be one of the current leaders of the Montreal mafia seems to be one of the last members of the Sicilian clan refusing to concede to certain aspects of the peace accord. He refuses to relinquish control of the lucrative mafia controlled sports betting operation built up by the Rizzuto family. A law enforcement source was quoted as saying “Sollecito does not want to hand over the book of bets. There are current contracts on the heads of several people. It is he who is the cause of the continuation of the war.” The massive revenues from the sports betting operation have allowed him to finance other operations and continue to battle.
There are long-standing links between the mafia families in both Toronto and Montreal. Upon his return to Montreal after his release from prison in the United States in 2012, Vito Rizzuto first visited Toronto. For years under Vito, everyone seemingly worked together including the Sicilians and Calabrians. A new peace agreement could lead to a new mafia alliance in which representatives from the Ndrangheta clans, Sicilian mafia clans, and others would then work in partnership with the Hells Angel. This new alliance would mean an end to the costly conflict that has undermined organized crime in the region over the last few years and forgoes the need for a new leader to try and fill the shoes of Vito Rizzuto.