U.S. technology entrepreneur John McAfee says he wants to return home to the United States and avoid being sent back to Belize, where he is wanted for questioning in the death of his neighbor.
McAfee held an online news conference Sunday from Guatemala, where he has been detained since last week for illegally entering the country. He repeated his claims that his life would be in danger if he is returned to Belize.
“Have I considered returning to the U.S.? Absolutely that is my only hope now. It is clear, in the last few weeks since I started my blog, that I cannot ever return to Belize. My blog, the issues that I am discussing, are hurting the government, they are hurting tourism, tourism accounts for over 70 percent of all the employment in Belize. The government was mad at me before; they’re seriously mad at me now,” McAfee stated. “There is no hope for my life if I am ever returning to Belize.”
The 67-year-old McAfee said he “simply would like to live comfortably day by day” during what he called his “declining years.”
McAfee emerged in Guatemala last week with his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend and said he would seek asylum, but authorities denied his request because he entered illegally. He fled Belize in early November after the deadly shooting of fellow American Gregory Faull on the island of Ambergris Caye, claiming he will be persecuted because he has knowledge of official corruption in Belize. His lawyers have filed a petition to allow him to remain in Guatemala, a process which could take 30 days.
Belizean authorities deny McAfee’s claims, saying he is simply a person of interest and not a prime suspect, and have even questioned his mental state.
McAfee made a personal fortune after designing the popular anti-virus software program named after him. He sold his stake in the company several years ago, before moving to Belize.