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McAfee Arrested in Guatemala

He claims Belize is corrupt and that he is being persecuted because he didn’t donate money to local politicians

John McAfee, 67, the tattooed gun-toting founder of McAfee, the namesake antivirus house now owned by Intel, turned up in Guatemala this week still on the run from Belize police seeking to question him about the shooting death of his neighbor only to be arrested by Guatemala's immigration authorities for illegally entering the country. He was affecting a thin disguise by dyeing his blond-tipped hair and beard black.

Before his arrest Wednesday, which could lead to his being deported back to Belize and being turned over to police there, he managed to stage a press conference. He repeated his fears of being murdered by the Belize police and said he would seek sanctuary, a process that could reportedly take a few weeks. He claims Belize is corrupt and that he is being persecuted because he didn't donate money to local politicians.

He has hired a former attorney general of Guatemala Telesforo Guerra as his lawyer. Guerra is reportedly the uncle of Samantha, the girl who's been on the lam with McAfee for the last three weeks. Guerra said he is enlisting the aid of the local American embassy to support McAfee's asylum request. The embassy said it couldn't help McAfee with a request to be returned to the US instead of Belize.

McAfee relocated to Belize in 2008 with his $100 million fortune supposedly severely reduced.

According to ABC News he could be sent back to Belize immediately unless a judge decides his life is in danger and Guerra told the AP that "It seems that there's been a government decision to throw him out of Guatemala." However, blogging from an immigration detention center, where he likes the coffee, McAfee claimed that "My lawyer just brought a judge to the jail and the judge issued a stay order until a higher judge can review the case. This effectively stops Immigration from returning me to the Belize border. So..... the urgency is eased a bit."

Labeled "bonkers" by Belize's prime minister, McAfee reportedly told ABC in an interview before his arrest that he was prepared to prove his sanity. Belize has said McAfee is not a suspect in the murder but Guerra told ABC News "You don't have to believe what the police say. Even though they say he is not a suspect they were trying to capture him."

Reuters says there is no extradition treaty between Belize and Guatemala, which claims to own a chunk of its neighbor.

See McAfee's blog at www.whoismcafee.com/.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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