GUATEMALA CITY – U.S. Internet pioneer John McAfee, wanted for questioning in the murder of his neighbor last month in Belize, is seeking political asylum in Guatemala, his lawyer said Tuesday.
The multi-millionaire went on the run from his home on the idyllic Belize island of Ambergris Caye hours after neighbor Gregory Faull was murdered on Nov. 11.
With his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sam Vanegas, in tow, he managed to cross the border into Guatemala over the weekend and has secured the services of star lawyer Telesforo Guerra, a former Guatemalan attorney general.
“I have to manage his political asylum,” Guerra told AFP after meeting McAfee early Tuesday at a hotel in Guatemala City.
McAfee “is persecuted in Belize, persecuted politically because he stopped financing the government. They accuse him of a common crime. So what I have to obtain is an authorization of asylum,” the lawyer said.
Asked whether McAfee fears being assassinated, Guerra said: “Yes, he fears for his life, because after having helped and supported the current government in Belize, they now want more and more money, which they pocket and don’t invest.”
McAfee, 67, amassed huge wealth as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in the 1990s, designing the hugely popular anti-virus software that bears his name and remains a leading industry product to this day.
He decamped to Belize in 2009 after losing an estimated $96 million of his $100 million fortune due to bad investments and the financial crisis.