GUATEMALA CITY — Software company founder John McAfee was denied political asylum in Guatemala on Thursday and police in Belize said they expected him to be flown back soon for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.
Guatemalan authorities said McAfee’s request for asylum had been denied. It did not explain why.
McAfee was in a Guatemalan immigration detention center after his arrest for illegally entering the country ended a bizarre weekslong journey as a self-styled fugitive with an active blog and constant contact with the press.
McAfee told an AP reporter inside his private room in the center that he had suffered chest pain in the night but had refused to travel to a hospital because he had been using Chinese herbal medicine since suffering a heart attack in 1993.
“Last night I had a little bit of pain, but I am fine this morning,” he said. “I don’t like western medicine … if the people around me are kind and compassionate, that’s all that matters in life. The people of Guatemala are very kind people, so I have no complaints.”
Belizean police spokesman Raphael Martinez said officials expected McAfee to be flown back to the capital. Police hope to question him about the fatal shooting of killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November on the Belize island where both men lived.
There is no warrant for McAfee’s arrest, so it is possible that his self-initiated flight from Belizean authority could end up with him free to roam the Caribbean island where he lived for years, often clashing with neighbors and authorities over allegations he kept aggressive dogs, weapons and drug paraphernalia on his property.
McAfee was updating his blog Thursday after being given a computer by the warden at the migration center in Guatemala City, a three-story building with mesh-covered windows and barbed-wire on the roof.
He said U.S. Embassy officials had said they couldn’t help him with a request to be returned to the United States instead of Belize. McAfee said he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala because he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians.
Since refusing to turn himself in to authorities in Belize, the 67-year-old had been in hiding, blogging his movements and calling reporters, until reappearing in Guatemala to claim asylum. He has not said how he crossed the border into Guatemala.
“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.”View Entire Story
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