penchant for guns and young women. He would often be seen with armed bodyguards, pistols tucked into his belt, and McAfee's neighbor had complained about the loud barking of dogs that guarded his exclusive beachside compound.
His run-in with authorities in Belize is a world away from a successful life in the United States, where he started McAfee Associates in 1989 and made millions of dollars developing the Internet anti-virus software that carries his name. There was already a case against McAfee in Belize for
possession of illegal firearms, and police had previously raided his property on suspicion he was running a lab to make illegal synthetic narcotics.
McAfee says he has been persecuted for refusing to donate money to politicians, that he loves Belize, and considers it his home.
Guatemala is a canny choice to seek refuge. It has long been embroiled in a territorial dispute with Belize. Guatemala claims the southern half of Belize and all of its islands, or cayes, rightfully belong to it. There is no extradition treaty between the two countries.
A Guatemalan government source said there was "no reason" to detain McAfee because there was no legal case against him pending in the country.
Harold Caballeros, Guatemala's foreign minister, said his government was unaware of any arrest warrant and would study McAfee's asylum request once presented, saying its success would
"depend on the arguments." Guerra said that McAfee would return to Belize once his
situation in Guatemala was made legal, citing the fact he had crossed into the country illegally to avoid capture by police in Belize.
"He can go to the United States, there is no problem with that," he added. "We have asked the U.S. embassy for support with our (asylum) request."
He said the asylum request would be formally presented on Wednesday.
The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City said in a statement McAfee would have to work within the country's legal framework, but declined to elaborate. "The embassy does not comment on the
actions of American citizens, due to privacy considerations."