American anti-virus software guru John McAfee, who is on the run from police in Belize seeking to question him in a murder probe, has turned up in Guatemala and sought political asylum.
After a whirlwind of confusion about his whereabouts in recent days, he surfaced Tuesday and addressed a press conference. He said he is being targeted by authorities in Belize because he refuses to give money to its government, say media reports.
The software guru was in hiding for three weeks since police in Belize said they wanted to question him as a person of interest about the murder of fellow American Gregory Faull, with whom McAfee had quarreled.
McAfee smuggled himself and his girlfriend across the porous land border that Belize shares with Guatemala.
Speaking to the media, he observed, “I have no plans much for the future now. The reason I chose Guatemala is two-fold. It is a country bordering Belize, it is a country that understands the corruption within Belize and most importantly, the former attorney general of the country is Samantha’s uncle and I knew that he would assist us with legal proceedings.”
He posted repeatedly on his blog while on the run, describing how he would constantly change his disguise to elude capture. He was traveling with a photographer from Vice magazine, which revealed his location by posting a photo of the two together under the headline, ‘We are with John McAfee right now, suckers.’
On Tuesday, McAfee appeared with his hair and goatee died black and wearing a dark suit and tie – a far cry from the surfer-style blonde hair highlights, shorts and tribal-tattooed bare shoulders he sported in Belize.
He noted, “(Guerra) is now attempting to get political asylum for myself and for Sam. I don’t think there will be much of a problem. From here I can speak freely and safely.”
He feared that authorities in Belize would kill him if he turned himself in for questioning. Belize’s prime minister has denied the claim and called the 67-year-old paranoid and bonkers.
The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City said in a statement McAfee would have to work within the country’s legal framework, but declined to elaborate. “The embassy does not comment on the actions of American citizens, due to privacy considerations, it stated.