GUATEMALA CITY -- Software company founder John McAfee was arrested yesterday for entering Guatemala illegally, hours after he said he would seek asylum in the Central American country.
The anti-virus guru was detained at a hotel in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood with the help of Interpol agents and taken to an old, three-story building used to house migrants who enter the country illegally, said Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla.
It was the latest twist in a bizarre tale that has seen McAfee, 67, refuse to turn himself in in Belize, where he is a person of interest in the killing of a neighbor, then go on the lam, updating his progress on a blog and claiming to be hiding in plain sight, before secretly crossing the border into Guatemala.
Earlier in the day, McAfee said he had formally requested asylum after entering from Belize, where he says he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.
"Yes, we are presenting this, and I want it to be clear, because of the persecution, not because of the murder," he told the AP about his asylum bid.
Police in Belize deny they are persecuting McAfee and say there is no warrant for his arrest.
He went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November on the Belize island where both lived.
McAfee had engaged in a series of clashes with neighbors and authorities over allegations he kept aggressive dogs, illegal weapons and drug paraphernalia in his beachfront home. He acknowledges that Faull had complained about his dogs, but denies killing him.
The Faull family has said the murder of their loved one on Ambergris Caye has gotten lost in the media frenzy provoked by McAfee's manipulation of the press through phone calls, emails and blog posts detailing his life on the lam.
McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus program, sold his stake in the anti-virus software company named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.