Despite being on the run from the Belize police, antivirus pioneer John McAfee somehow seems to have found the time to compose an essay on the “pirate haven” qualities of the Caribbean island.
McAfee, 67, has been evading Belize police since Sunday when a housekeeper found McAfee’s neighbor in a pool of blood in a beachside home on Belize’s Ambergris Caye island. Police want to talk to McAfee about the death of the neighbor, 57-year-old American expatriate Gregory Faull.
Technology magazine Wired published McAfee’s purported writing Wednesday. What follows is an excerpt of the 720-word essay, which was emailed to Wired and is available in its entirety on Wired’s website:
Belize is, today, still a pirate haven and is run more or less along the lines established centuries ago by the likes of Captain Morgan, Blackbeard and Captain Barrow: Plunder is the preferred means of wealth acquisition; Exploitation is the preferred formula for success; Brutality creates respect; Fear is the means of governance; Extortion is the method of collecting what is due. It’s a system that functions more or less smoothly if you play by the rules.
I am not fond of these rules however and I openly oppose them. This is the root of my struggle here in Belize.
Over the next few days, I will tell my side of the sad story unfolding around me and tragically affecting my closest friends, many of which have been arrested and are currently being detained under the draconic laws enacted by the current Prime Minister.
Wired contributing editor Joshua Davis has been in frequent contact with McAfee since Monday, and has published tweets, blog posts and audio recording snippets from his conversations with the former chief executive on the run.
Since Sunday, McAfee has dyed his hair, eyebrows and beard (“I’ll probably look like a murderer, unfortunately,” he told Wired) and has moved locations multiple times, Davis reported. McAfee said he has ridden in boats, crouched down on taxi floorboards and slept in a bed that was infested with lice.
The Belize police are treating Faull’s death as a homicide investigation. Law enforcement and government officials have encouraged McAfee to come out of hiding, saying that being wanted for questioning is not the same as being a suspect.
“I don’t want to be unkind, but he seems to be extremely paranoid -- I would go so far as to say bonkers,” Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow told Reuters. “He ought to man up and respect our laws and go in and talk to the police.”
McAfee told Davis that he is innocent. He fears he will be killed in custody or will be tried by a judge, rather than a jury.
On Wednesday, Belize police said they had arrested and charged McAfee’s bodyguard William Mulligan, 29, and Mulligan’s wife Stefanie, 22, with having unlicensed weapons and ammunition.
McAfee sold his stock in McAfee Inc. for $100 million two years after the company’s initial public offering in 1992. The former chief executive moved to Belize to retire in 2008 after losing much of his fortune in real estate investments, bad business ventures and Lehman Bros. bonds.