John McAfee heads to Florida after Guatemala deports him


McClatchy Newspapers

Guatemala on Wednesday put antivirus pioneer John McAfee aboard an airliner bound for Miami, deporting the former software tycoon to his native United States rather than to Belize, which he fled amid an inquiry into the murder of a fellow American.

“I’m being expelled,” McAfee told Bloomberg TV minutes before his midafternoon departure. “I have no choice in the matter. However, I am perfectly happy with the decision.”

McAfee, 67, caused an international stir with his escape a month ago from Belize, replete with breathless blog postings alleging persecution and calls and emails to foreign journalists to update them on his underground journey, his 20-year-old girlfriend at his side.

McAfee became a “subject of interest” to Belizean police after the killing Nov. 11 of an Orlando, Fla.-area building contractor at his home a few hundred yards from McAfee’s beachfront property on Ambergris Caye, a tropical retirement destination near the world’s second longest barrier reef.

The murder victim, Gregory Faull, had quarreled with McAfee about the former software tycoon’s dogs and his penchant for wandering the area armed.

In typical fashion, McAfee’s final hours in Guatemala saw him swing between concern about the strains his plight had put on the Central American country and anger at journalists following his movements.

“The Guatemalans, by the way, have been as nice to me as my own family. The guards and orderlies have been supportive and have treated me with kindness,” McAfee posted earlier in the day on his blog at

McAfee told Bloomberg that he’d penned an apology to Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina “for putting him in a very slippery position in the negotiations of a peace treaty with Belize.”

Guatemala and Belize have been embroiled in a territorial dispute for more than a century. Guatemala claims the southern half of tiny Belize as its own.

In a separate blog posting under what McAfee later said was a pen name, he lashed out at Vice Magazine, saying the outlet released a photograph carrying embedded location data about his whereabouts nine days ago, hoping that two journalists traveling with him would have “exclusive access” to his arrest.

McAfee said he would “terminate all contact with Vice.”

McAfee, an avid disciple of yoga and user of superlight aircraft and firearms, wanted people to keep their distance from his Belize home. Outside was posted a sign that read: “Never mind the dog, beware of owner.” Even so, he seemed to feed on attention from the media, chain smoking while offering interviews.

Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow called McAfee “bonkers” after he went underground, and the fugitive had both detractors who called him paranoid and unstable, allegedly exacerbated by a fondness for synthetic drugs, and admirers of his free-flowing, adventurous lifestyle.

McAfee reported during his three-week flight before turning up in Guatemala on Dec. 5 that he had slept in lice-infested huts to escape arrest by police.

McAfee made a fortune when he took public his software company, which bore his name and has become synonymous with protecting computers from viruses. He sold the company in 1994 and eventually moved to Belize in 2008, where he donated a $1 million coastal vessel to local law enforcement.

Belize and the United States signed an extradition treaty in March 2000, but as long as McAfee is not formally charged with a crime in Belize he appears safe from extradition while in the United States.

He told Bloomberg that he is still willing to speak with police in Belize – just not in person – about the murder of Faull, who was killed with a 9mm gunshot to the head.

“I’ve offered to talk to the police numerous times on the phone. This is not an issue of talking about a murder. It’s an issue of putting their hands on my person,” McAfee said.

Then in dramatic fashion, he added: “The officers are here with guns and I must leave” to board the departing American Airlines flight to Miami.

Email:; Twitter: @timjohnson4

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • 100 years ago, World War I, the Great War, unleashed chaos that still reverberates

    Disaster struck the world 100 years ago this week, leading to millions of deaths, wrecking cities, ripping old nations apart and creating new ones, overturning empires and the monarchs that led them, sweeping away traditional customs and values, and changing the world in ways that still affect us today. But why should we care about something that happened a century ago?

Journalists photograph Argentina's Finance Secretary Pablo Lopez in his car as he leaves a debt negotiation session in New York on Thursday, July 24, 2014. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered around-the-clock negotiations aimed at averting a second debt default by Argentina in 13 years. Argentina's president said Wednesday that her country will not go into default because it has been paying debts to bondholders on time.

    Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Argentina's government said Monday it will make another effort to reach a deal with US. creditors ahead of a looming deadline that risks sending the country into its second default in 13 years.

Britain’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, left and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond  second left, and their Polish counterparts Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, right,  attend a news conference  in Warsaw Poland Monday July 28, 2014 after talks upon the situation in eastern Ukraine.

    Poland, Britain call for more sanctions on Russia

    The foreign ministers of Poland and Britain have called for more economic sanctions on Russia, saying it is responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine this month.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category