War or retreat? Leonardo Rizzuto at a crossroads, according to a specialist
The son of the late mafia godfather Montrealer Vito Rizzuto survived a burst of bullets fired at his car in Laval.
Leonardo Rizzuto's luxurious car was riddled with bullets at the junction of highways 440 and 13 in Laval.
After miraculously surviving an attempted murder with a gun on Wednesday, Leonardo Rizzuto, considered by police to be one of the leaders of the Sicilian clan of the Montreal mafia, may have to choose between going to war against those who ordered his murder or lower his flag by formalizing his retirement.
This is the opinion of the renowned specialist in the Italian mafia André Cédilot, who worked for 35 years in < em>La Press and has signed two books on the Rizzuto clan.
One thing is certain, according to this expert, Leonardo Rizzuto, son of the deceased godfather of the Montreal mafia Vito Rizzuto, will not flee Canada as other alleged mafiosi who have a bounty on their head would do.
< p class="e-p">Leonardo was born in Montreal and will never leave the city. When his father, Vito, was imprisoned in the United States, many police officers believed that he would never return to Quebec and would choose Venezuela or Italy at the end of his sentence in Colorado. But his daughter Maria had told my police sources: his family was originally from Montreal and she would never leave the city, recalls André Cédilot.
The alleged mafia boss of 53 years old escaped death, Wednesday around 4:40 p.m., while driving his Mercedes-Benz at the junction of highways 440 and 13, in Laval.
The shooter opened fire a dozen times, but only wounded him in the leg.
Leonardo Rizzuto was transported to the Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval, but he came out of the hospital, escorted by his close guard, at the start of the evening, according to our information.
It was not a message, we wanted to get rid of it, says the mafia specialist looking at the photos from Radio-Canada, thus corroborating the opinion of our sources policewomen.
As Leonardo is the last living son of Vito Rizzuto, André Cédilot explains that it was the former lawyer Loris Cavaliere who took him under his wing to propel him to the consultation table created between the organizations criminals, about ten years ago.
Leonardo has neither the charisma nor the experience or the contacts that his father possessed when he reigned over organized crime in Montreal. He could have been propelled only because of his name. But since his father's friends have all been murdered, he no longer has a stranglehold on Montreal's Italian mafia clans and other criminal organizations, adds Mr. Cédilot.
André Cédilot, renowned specialist in the Montreal mafia, worked for 35 years at La Presse and authored two books on the subject.
After the assassination of Rocco Sollecito on May 27, 2016, a few meters from the Laval police headquarters, his son Stefano had taken over to take care of the affairs of the Rizzuto clan, reports the ;expert.
I am convinced that Leonardo was imposed on Stefano, who already had business relations with bikers and other criminal organizations, explains André Cedilot.
However, according to our police sources, Stefano Sollecito, now 54, is no longer considered an influential and active member of organized crime due to serious health problems.
< p class="e-p">According to our information, his condition has deteriorated in recent months.
Stefano was the last one who could prevent an attempt to get rid of Leonardo, who does not have the respect of the Italian mafia families of Montreal. There are about ten of them. Without a protector, he has simply become an accessory in the organized crime ecosystem, adds the former investigative journalist.
Leonardo Rizzuto (File photo)
André Cédilot does not believe that Leonardo Rizzuto can have the allies and the resources necessary to go to war against those who ordered his murder.
Several organized crime actors have the potential to x27;be behind this attack. It could be bikers, like the Calabrian mafia or old enemies of the Rizzuto family, says the specialist.
The confessions of hitman Frédérick Silva, who agreed to collaborate with the Sûreté du Québec, could make several active organized crime members nervous. Leonardo's involvement in crimes confessed to by Silva could spur people to take action, believes André Cédilot.
Over the past year, police officers specializing in the fight against organized crime warned several people that there was a bounty on their heads.
According to our information, the name of Leonardo Rizzuto was among the number.