Wednesday, December 05, 2012

McAfee seeks asylum in Guatemala

The saga of security software pioneer John McAfee continues. Having crossed the border between Belize and Guatemala -- illegally, mind you -- he is seeking asylum in the country.

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McAfee has been on the run since the Nov. 11 murder of Gregory Faull, a neighbor of McAfee’s and a fellow ex-patriot. Faull was found dead in his home near San Pedro, on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.

Allegedly, Faull's death made McAfee a person of interest because on Nov. 9, two days earlier, McAfee told authorities that four of his dogs had been poisoned. Those canines had been a source of antagonism between McAfee and Faull, based on arguments over the dogs' barking and aggressive behavior.

McAfee has said he is wary of the motives of the Belize officials. He claims that the government wants to kill him because he refused to pay a bribe to certain officials.

Along with representatives of Vice Magazine, McAfee, 67, smuggled himself and his girlfriend, Samantha, 20, across the border between Belize and Guatemala. He said:
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.
While speaking to Reuters by telephone from Guatemala's Supreme Court, McAfee was flanked by his aforementioned lawyer, former attorney general and lawyer Telesforo Guerra.

During his time on the run, McAfee kept a blog updated with his status. Last weekend, a post on the blog seemed to indicate he had been captured, but he later posted that the McAfee caught was a decoy.

However, a photo posted by the Vice Magazine reporters and posted on Monday with an article gave away McAfee's position. Taken with an iPhone 4S, it had location information embedded which revealed the exact coordinates where the photo was taken -- in the Rio Dulce National Park in Guatemala.

McAfee's lawyer, Telesforo Guerra said:
He can go to the United States, there is no problem with that. We have asked the U.S. embassy for support with our (asylum) request.
In terms of that support, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City said in a statement that McAfee would have to work within the country's legal framework, but declined to add details, stating:
The embassy does not comment on the actions of American citizens, due to privacy considerations.

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