U.S. technology entrepreneur John McAfee has been arrested in Guatemala for illegally entering the country, where he fled to avoid questioning in Belize about the murder of his neighbor.
Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla says McAfee was detained Wednesday in Guatemala City and taken to a residence belonging to the immigration department.
McAfee, 67, fled Belize last month after the deadly shooting of fellow American Gregory Faull. He emerged in Guatemala earlier this week and announced he would seek asylum in the Central American country. He says his life would be in danger if he is sent back to Belize.
"I have for five years lived in Belize peacefully," McAfee told reporters. "Seven months ago the Belizean government sent 42 armed soldiers into my property. They killed one of my dogs, they broke into all of my houses, they stole, they arrested me and kept me handcuffed in the sun for 14 hours. I was taken to jail and it was only the intervention of the U.S. Embassy that got me out of jail."
McAfee said since that time he has been continually harassed by the government.
"They have attempted to charge me with every crime ranging from [having] an antibiotics laboratory without a license to hiring security guards without a license, to having improper paperwork for my company and most recently the murder of my neighbor. I had to leave, but the story has to get out. I have documentation that proves the intense corruption at all levels of the police and government,'' he said.
Authorities in Belize deny McAfee's claims, saying he is simply a person of interest and not a prime suspect. Guatemala could deport McAfee back to Belize as early as Thursday.
McAfee made a personal fortune after designing the popular anti-virus software program named after him. He sold his stake in the company several years ago before moving to Belize.
"As per our immigration regulations, what is happening now is that he is under guard while the following procedure is being worked out. In this case it could be deportation," explained Luis Fernando Lucero, a Guatemalan Immigration spokesperson.