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December 10, 2012

McAfee Fighting to Stay in Guatemala

The creator of the McAfee antivirus program, who faces deportation to Belize in connection with a murder, has filed three appeals in a bid to remain in Guatemala.

John McAfee, who was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack after learning his request for asylum had been rejected Dec. 6, is back in the Guatemalan jail in which he has been held since illegally crossing the border Dec. 5.

McAfee’s lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, said the 67-year-old McAfee is in good health after suffering from stress and hypertension.

According to The Associated Press, Guerra filed an appeal for a judge to ensure McAfee’s physical integrity is protected, an appeal against deportation and a petition with immigration officials to allow McAfee to stay in Guatemala indefinitely.

McAfee, in an interview with Reuters, said he hopes to return to the United States.

“My goal is to get back to America as soon as possible,” McAfee said. “I wish I could just pack my bags and go to Miami. I don’t think I fully understood the political situation. I’m an embarrassment to the Guatemalan government and I’m jeopardizing their relationship with Belize.”

McAfee’s arrest brought to an end his fugitive status, during which time he claimed through blogs the police in Belize are persecuting him. The police were seeking McAfee for questioning in relation to the murder of a fellow ex-pat.

According to The Associate Press, McAfee fears for his life because he is in possession of sensitive information about official corruption and refuses to give money to local politicians.

McAfee, who entered Guatemala to ask for asylum, has been hiding from the authorities, blogging about his movements and calling reporters.

Guerra told The Associated Press McAfee’s life would be in danger if he were returned to Belize.

“He will be in danger if he is returned to Belize, where he has denounced authorities,” Guerra said. “From the moment he asked for asylum he has to have the protection of the Guatemalan government.”

Meanwhile, Belize police say they are not persecuting McAfee, adding there is no warrant for his arrest. According to the AP report, the country’s prime minister has doubts about McAfee’s mental stability.

McAfee went into hiding in November after police attempted to question him about the shooting death of Gregory Viant Faull. The murder took place early last month on the Belize island where the men were neighbors.

McAfee reportedly was involved in various quarrels with neighbors and the police regarding complaints his dogs were aggressive and he kept illegal weapons and drug paraphernalia in his home. McAfee admitted his dogs were troublesome and that Faull had complained about them, but has said he did not shoot Faull who lived a few houses down from him.

McAfee’s month on the run with his girlfriend Sam has garnered global attention due to his contact with reporters and frequent blog posts detailing his escapades, which included donning disguises.

A Nov. 26 blog post, which can be read here, details the events since the murder from McAfee’s point of view.

“The government begins a disinformation program painting me as paranoid,” a portion of the post reads.  “I respond in the press unsuccessfully. In this blog I post my first evidence of the absurdity of their stance, by divulging a plot to extort $150,000 from me – with photos of the event.”

His many blog posts can be viewed here.