* McAfee has said he fears Belize authorities want him dead
* His lawyer's office says asylum request was turned down
By Lomi Kriel and Sofia Menchu
GUATEMALA CITY, Dec 6 John McAfee's lawyer on
Thursday vowed to fight efforts by Guatemala to deport the U.S.
software entrepreneur to Belize, where police want to question
him about a neighbor's murder.
McAfee, 67, was detained by Guatemalan police on Wednesday
for illegally sneaking across the border with his 20-year-old
girlfriend to escape authorities in Belize. He has said he fears
authorities in Belize will kill him if he returns.
"We are going to go to the human rights prosecutor to lodge
a complaint and file an injunction against the foreign minister
for detaining him without studying his asylum request," McAfee's
lawyer Telesforo Guerra told local radio.
Guerra's assistant Karla Paz told Reuters shortly afterwards
McAfee's asylum request had been turned down.
Belize's prime minister has described McAfee, who made
millions of dollars from the Internet anti-virus software that
bears his name, as "bonkers." McAfee later lost much of his
fortune and turned to a life of semi-reclusion by the beach.
After his arrest, McAfee spent the night in a cottage
belonging to the immigration department. He passed much of the
night reading his blog www.whoismcafee.com and posting his
thoughts on a laptop he said was lent to him by the warden.
One person asked if he felt like committing suicide.
"I enjoy living, and suicide is absurdly redundant," he
wrote. "The world, from the very beginning, hurls viruses,
accidents, hungry animals, defective DNA - and uncountable more
- in an attempt to kill us. It always succeeds. Suicide is
simply aiding and abetting."
McAfee's earlier posts had spoken of his relief at arriving
in Guatemala, thinking he had found a way out of his predicament
Government spokesman Francisco Cuevas said on Wednesday the
eccentric tech entrepreneur, who loves guns and young women and
has tribal tattoos covering his shoulders, would be expelled to
Belize within hours. However, an immigration department official
later said immediate deportation had been ruled out.
Police in Belize want to quiz McAfee as "a person of
interest" in the killing of fellow American Gregory Faull, with
whom he had quarreled. But they say he is not a prime suspect in
McAfee says he has been persecuted by Belize's ruling party
because he refused to pay it around $2 million. The party denies
On the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, where McAfee has
lived in Belize for about four years, residents and neighbors
say he is eccentric and at times unstable. He was seen to travel
with armed bodyguards, sporting a pistol tucked into his belt.
The predicament of the former Lockheed systems consultant is
a far cry from his heyday in the late 1980s, when he started
McAfee Associates. McAfee has no relationship now with the
company, which was sold to Intel Corp.
McAfee was previously charged in Belize with possession of
illegal firearms, and police had previously raided his property
on suspicions that he was running a lab to produce illegal
synthetic narcotics. He says he has not taken drugs since 1983.
"(Before then) I took drugs constantly, 24 hours of the day.
I took them for years and years. I was the worst drug abuser on
the planet," he told Reuters before his arrest. "Then I finally
went to Alcoholics Anonymous, and that was the end of it."
(Reporting by Simon Gardner; editing by Todd Eastham)