John McAfee arrested in Guatemala

Fugitive antivirus pioneer was on the run from Belize police for three weeks to seek asylum

Fugitive antivirus technology pioneer John McAfee, who is wanted for questioning by police in Belize in connection with a murder in that country several weeks ago, has been detained by immigration police in Guatemala for allegedly entering the country illegally.

Antivirus software guru John McAfee
Antivirus software guru John McAfee arrives for a press conference outside of the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters/William Gularte)

In a blog post allegedly written in his jail cell, McAfee said he was being treated well and was looking forward to conducting a press conference Thursday morning,

"I am in jail in Guatemala. Vastly superior to Belize jails," McAfee blogged. "The coffee is also excellent."

In the brief post, McAfee urged supporters to stay tuned for more updates. "I believe, by the way, that blogging from a jail cell might be a groundbreaking activity. Let's see if it catches on," he wrote.

McAfee and his girlfriend have been on the run from police in Belize since Nov 11. Police there are seeking to question McAfee in connection with the shooting death of a neighbor, Gregory Faul, a 52-year-old American expatriate who was found dead in his home on Nov. 1.

In numerous news media interviews, McAfee insisted that he had nothing to do with the murder and contended that his life would be danger if he surrendered to Belize police.

In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, McAfee reiterated those claims and insisted that media portrayals of him acting in an erratic manner were wrong.

According to ABC, McAfee plans to seek asylum in Guatemala. A lawyer for the one-time tech wizard told the network it would take two to three weeks to secure asylum there.

"Thank God I am in a place where there is some sanity," McAfee, 67, told ABC. "I chose Guatemala carefully."

News of McAfee's arrests comes two days after a blog post in which the tech guru indicated that he managed to slip out of Belize with his girlfriend. In the post, he said he planned to return to Belize after finding a safe haven for his girlfriend.

McAfee founded McAfee Inc., now a subsidiary of Intel, in 1987. Though it's believed that he has made hundreds of millions of dollars from that venture, he has had little association with the antivirus software company in recent years.

He moved to Belize several years ago where he established a drug company called QuorumEx.

Earlier this year, Belize's Gang Suppression Unit raided McAfee's home on suspicion that he was running a meth lab. They found close to $20,000 in cash, several shotguns and pistols and hundreds of bullets, but it turned out that all the guns were licensed and that the lab was involved in manufacturing an herbal antibacterial compound.

Law enforcement authorities in Belize say that McAfee is not a suspect in the killings and is only wanted for questioning. They contend there was no manhunt and suggest that McAfee's actions were driven by paranoia.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

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