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Software Guru John McAfee Finally Arrested in Guatemala, Wearing Disguise

Authorities finally caught up with software guru John McAfee in Guatemala, ending a three-week search for the colorful 67-year-old who is wanted for questioning in Belize in connection with the murder of his former neighbor, fellow American Gregory Faull.

He was arrested by Guatemalan police for entering their country illegally, using a disguise to slip over the border. He had checked into the five star Villa Real hotel in Guatemala City on Wednesday, accompanied by his 20-year-old girlfriend.

Though he is a “person of interest” in Faull’s murder, he is not a prime suspect, according to Belize police. There was no international arrest warrant for him, but there is an illegal firearms case against him in Belize—neighbors say the eccentric millionaire is impulsive, volatile, unstable, and has a passion for guns and young women—and police had raided his property on suspicion he was running a lab to make illegal synthetic narcotics.

In an interview with Reuters and on his blog,, he claims he left Belize because of the harassment from authorities.

McAfee says he has not taken drugs since 1983.

“(Before then) I took drugs constantly, 24 hours of the day, I took them for years and years. I was the worst drug abuser on the planet,” McAfee said. “Then I finally went to Alcoholics Anonymous, and that was the end of it.”

McAfee has been living in Belize for about four years, chronicling his life with his girlfriend Sam in whimsical posts on his blog, where he also posted a graphic novel about his exploits called “The Hinterlands.”

McAfee claims he is being framed, and said he had nothing to do with Faull’s murder. On his website, he offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Faull’s murderer.

“We had one disagreement about a dog. I had disagreements with all my neighbors about my dogs. I had a disagreement with myself about my dogs. They were noisy,” he told Reuters.

“Why would I leave behind the body and all the evidence?” he asked. “I’m not stupid.”

McAfee said he had no regrets about his life or the loss of most of his fortune, saying he is happier now that he has less care for material things. McAfee was an early legend in Silicon Valley and made millions from the antivirus software that now carries his name.

“My life has not declined,” he said. “My life has been on the increase ever since I decided that stuff—houses, money—doesn’t mean much. I had more money than I could spend in million lifetimes. Why would I care?”

McAfee claims Belize’s ruling party is after him because he wouldn’t pay out some $2 million.

“The misunderstanding of the severity of their request for money was my big mistake,” McAfee said. “Had I known that, I would maybe have said $2 million is way too much. Let’s negotiate something, just don’t rape me for the next seven months. Writing a check would have been a lot easier.”

But the party has denied soliciting money from him.

McAfee said he disguised himself by dying his hair and beard, sticking chewed bubble gum to his upper gums to fatten his face and staining his teeth.

“He entered the country illegally and we are going to seek his expulsion for this crime,” Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said. McAfee was detained by Guatemalan police and a member of Interpol at the upscale Intercontinental hotel in Guatemala City.

McAfee’s lawyer Telesforo Guerra was seeking an injunction to have him released and on his blog McAfee said he wouldn’t be returned to the Belize border until a higher judge reviewed the case.

McAfee was taken to a residence belonging to the immigration department that is being guarded by police. On his blog he has kind things to say about Guatemalan authorities.

“Everyone here is nice. And sympathetic,” he writes. “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.”

McAfee has said he believes authorities in Belize will kill him if he turns himself in for questioning. Belize’s prime minister has denied this and called him paranoid and “bonkers.”

“It’s a wild, wild country,” McAfee told Reuters.

“Everyone sees one part of Belize,” he said. “They think it’s a wonderful, peaceful, lovely place, blue waters, so McAfee has got to be crazy. Maybe I am crazy. If I were, I wouldn’t know.”


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