John McAfee Arrested in Guatemala


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MEXICO CITY ? The antivirus software pioneer John McAfee was arrested in Guatemala City on Wednesday after he slipped over the border from his home in Belize where police want to question him in their investigation of the murder of his neighbor.


Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters

John McAfee spoke during an interview in Guatemala City on Wednesday.


The 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 center 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 on Nov. 11. Police there cited Mr. McAfee as a ?person of interest? in their investigation, but Mr. McAfee disapppeared.

But he did not disappear from the Internet. He kept up a continuous stream of comment on his blog and on Twitter, accusing the Belizean authorities of persecuting him.

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, Tel?sforo Guerra, Mr. McAfee said that he would seek political asylum in Guatemala. Mr. Guerra, a former Guatemalan attorney general, told reporters at a chaotic news conference outside the Supreme Court that his client was being persecuted because he refused to pay Belizean authorities off 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 his other interests. He ran a yoga retreat and then built a complex in New Mexico to indulge his hobby of flying motorized 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 that Mr. McAfee kept on his property.

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

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

But 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 experience, though, Mr. McAfee appeared to become increasingly convinced that he was being persecuted by the Belizean government. Officials deny that they are persecuting him.

Mr. Guerra told Guatemalan reporters late Wednesday that since there was no warrant for Mr. McAfee?s arrest and since his client was not a fugitive, he would seek to have his client released and returned to the hotel where he would remain under guard.


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Will John McAfee have a 30-day trial?

brilliant, well done

on topic though, wasn't his plan to be arrested/give himself up? all he wanted was to get out of belize then seek asylum.

Or does "being arrested" mean it hasn't gone to plan?

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Looks like he is now being deported to Belize. Guess that didn't work out too well...

4:14PM EST December 6. 2012 - A day after he was denied asylum in Guatemala and detained for entering the country illegally, fugitive software mogul John McAfee was rushed to a hospital Thursday after suffering heart attacks in jail, his lawyer says.

Reuters quotes his lawyer as saying the the 67-year-old anti-virus pioneer suffered two mild heart attacks.

Spanish-language Prensa Libra earlier said he was taken by ambulance to a Guatemala City hospital, accompanied by his 20-year-old girlfriend.

ABC and NBC also tweeted the news:

Media zoo at Interpol Guatemala. EMTs inside with an apparently sick McAfee. ? Keith Morrison (@dateline_keith)

John McAfee being taken to hospital in Guatemala. Local press is crazy here, now in a high speed chase after Ambulance ? Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC)

Gutman posted a photo of McAfee in the ambulance.

Late Wednesday, McAfee was denied political asylum in Guatemala, clearing the way for deportation to Belize, where he is wanted for questioning in a murder case.

According to the Associated Press, McAfee's lawyer, Karla Paz, says his request to remain in Guatemala has been denied. McAfee, who has been in hiding for more than three weeks, is wanted in Belize as "a person of interest" over the slaying of fellow American Gregory Faull.

"He entered the country illegally and we are going to seek his expulsion for this crime," Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told Reuters.

In a post attributed to McAfee on his blog, the software mogul is urging supporters to email Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and "beg him to allow the court system to proceed, to determine my status in Guatemala, and please support the political asylum that I am asking for." McAfee had been blogging from jail, using a computer he says was loaned to him by a warden. In a series of blog posts published Thursday, McAfee said a stay order was issued so a higher judge can review his case.

"Everyone here is nice. And sympathetic," writes McAfee. "So far, my experience on the inside of this establishment has worn away a bit of my natural cynicism and added a measure of hope for humanity."

MORE: Read McAfee's blog

ANALYSIS: John McAfee has always been an enigma

McAfee's arrest ends one of the most bizarre international manhunts of the modern tech era. Armed with only a Twitter account, dozens of cellphone accounts and a battery of tech journalist handlers, McAffee eluded Belize authorities for 23 days while posting blog entries that highlighted his days on the run.

Guatemala government spokesman Francisco Cuevas told Reuters that he expected McAfee's expulsion to Belize to be completed early Thursday morning.

"Basically, he has been granted extra time for a different judge to review the case," said Brian Fitzgerald, a spokesman for McAfee. "The U.S. Embassy cannot do much right now. A bit of a waiting game for now."

"He is asking for support so that he will not be sent back to Belize. I think he is a bit worried right now," Fitzgerald said.

The murder and manhunt have polarized the beachfront community of Amergris Caye, where both men lived and had friends.

"I think people are torn about it," said Tamara Sniffin, owner of The San Pedro Sun newspaper. "I don't get the feeling that people are convinced that he's guilty of murder. Everyone just wants him to answer the questions the cops have."

She said residents have been frustrated with the lack of progress in the case. They worry that if McAfee didn't commit the murder, the person who did may be living among them. "Is there still someone out there who is guilty?" she said. "We don't have many leads on it."

National Belize Police spokesman Raphael Martinez said on Thursday that police do not have any suspects yet in the case.

McAfee remains a "person of interest," he said. He is not a suspect, but police believe he could have some useful information about the case.

"When he comes in, I think we'll get to the bottom of that," Martinez said.

Just Tuesday, McAfee -- who founded the security-software giant bearing his name, only to drop out of the tech scene and pursue an eclectic variety of interests that included yoga and hang gliding -- said he would seek political asylum in Guatemala. That nation is embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute with Belize.

Eugene Kaspersky, himself a maverick in the security field, said it was unfair to equate the McAfee saga to recent travails at the company, which has lost a few key executives. Like others, Kaspersky said McAfee was out of the picture at his former company years ago.

"He had some crazy ideas," says Mark Coker, who worked closely for John McAfee in the early 1990s. "But he was original, and foresaw things like cloud computing. It's all so strange."

Contributing: Nancy Trejos, Brett Molina, The Associated Press


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McAfee had two heart attacks in jail today (confirmed).... unconfirmed reports he died later :huh: that or my Spanish is horrible

Rushed to hospital with "chest pains" from sky


daily mail reports heart attacks but no hospital

Never believe much of the daily mail though.

Be funny if hes putting it on

An ABC News correspondent on the scene said Mr McAfee appeared unresponsive until medical personnel attempted to undress him, prompting him to say, "not in front of the press".

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McAfee had two heart attacks in jail today (confirmed).... unconfirmed reports he died later :huh: that or my Spanish is horrible

Maybe McAfee's protection got turned off?

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