McAfee detained by police in Guatemala


Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee has been arrested in Guatemala City after he slipped over the border from his home in Belize where police want to question him in their investigation of his neighbour's killing.

Interior minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told The Associated Press that Mr McAfee (67) had been arrested on charges of entering Guatemala illegally.

He said that Mr McAfee had been arrested at a hotel in the capital and taken to a detention centre for migrants who are in the nation illegally.

Mr McAfee had been on the run for almost a month since his neighbor, Gregory Faull, on the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye was found dead at his home Nov 11th. Police there cited Mr McAfee as a "person of interest" in their investigation, but McAfee disappeared.

He did not disappear from the Internet, however. He kept up a continuous stream of comment on his blog and on Twitter, alleging that he was being persecuted by the Belizean authorities.

On Tuesday, he resurfaced in Guatemala, dressed in a suit, his blond curls dyed dark brown.

Accompanied by his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend, Samantha Venagas, and his Guatemalan lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, McAfee said that he would seek political asylum in Guatemala. Guerra, a former Guatemalan attorney general who has defended some of the country's more notorious politicians, told reporters at a chaotic news conference outside the Supreme Court that his client was being persecuted because he refused to pay off Belizean authorities any longer.

Mr McAfee has not been associated with the software company that bears his name since 1994, when he sold it and began to pursue other interests. He ran a yoga retreat and then built a complex in New Mexico to indulge his hobby of flying ultralight airplanes.

He moved to Belize about four years ago, buying properties on the mainland and on Ambergris Caye. It was there that he clashed with  Mr Faull, who complained about the unleashed dogs McAfee kept on his property.

On Nov 9th, several of the dogs were found dead. They had been poisoned.

During his time in Belize, Mr McAfee had apparently become interested in developing the designer drug MDPV. He posted extensively about his experiments on a website.

He attracted the attention of Belizean authorities, who raided one of his properties in April. He spent a night in jail, but law enforcement officials found no evidence that he was producing methamphetamine and dropped the charges.

After that, though, Mr McAfee appeared to become increasingly convinced that he was being persecuted by the Belizean government. Officials denied that they were persecuting him, and Belizean prime minister Dean Barrow has said that McAfee is "bonkers."

New York Times