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Guatemalan police arrest software guru McAfee

GUATEMALA CITY — Software company founder John McAfee was arrested by police in Guatemala on Wednesday for entering the country illegally, hours after he said he would seek asylum in the Central American country.

The antivirus guru was detained at a hotel in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood with the help of Interpol agents, then taken to a building used to house migrants who enter the country illegally, said Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla.

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It was the latest twist in a bizarre tale that has seen McAfee refuse to turn himself in to authorities in Belize, where he is a person of interest in the killing of a neighbor, then go on the lam, updating his progress on a blog.

Earlier Wednesday, McAfee said he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala after entering the country from Belize, where he says he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and has refused to donate to local politicians.

‘‘Yes, we are presenting this, and I want it to be clear, because of the persecution, not because of the murder,’’ he said of his asylum bid.

Police in Belize deny they are persecuting McAfee and say there is no warrant for his arrest. Since there are no restrictions on his travels, it is unclear why McAfee would need any special status in order to stay in Guatemala.

McAfee went on the run last month after officials tried to question him about the killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot to death in early November on the Belize island where both men lived.

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