My life in Belize

My life in Belize

john mcafe life in belize

Belize is a country of contrasts.  It has one of the most beautiful seacoasts in the world.  From my house, I had  a view of crystal clear aquamarine waters, calmy protected by a reef no more than 100 yards offshore.

For much of the year, the above is what I had to look at.  During storm season, however, we are dead center of the Carribean storm pathhs and then this is what you get:

And this:

It is a frightening time of year.  Every year their are hurricanes, evacuation and uncertainty.  I have stayed at home for every evacuation for the past five years.  It is wind and water and I love both.  During the last Hurricane – Mathew – I finally gave in as the winds rose and the water boiled.  I took my boat 4 miles down the coast to my condo.  I was the only boat on the water – everyone else had wisely  taken refuge inland.  I was unable to dock at the condo due high wind and waves and it was only the intervention of my close freind, Eddie Ancona – the very Eddie who is now unjustly in jail because of his association with me – that saved me.  He has lived in San Pedro his entire life and is an accomplished seaman.  He met me at Amigos Del  Mar and helped me take the boat to safety.  Eddie is one of the most honorable men I have ever know, and he has been a true friend.  I would trust him with my life.  So that you can put a face to a name here he is (Eddie was one of my employees and friends who was arrested simply because he worked for me)

The interior of the country, where I had my riverfront home (the one raided , destroyed in April by the GSU and finally burned to the ground this year ), is as beautiful as the coasts of the numerous islands.   Languid rivers wind their way through lush jungle.  But even her, the law of the jungle rules.  Manatees, for example, are frequently killed by motorboats that carry tourist to and from the Mayan ruins dotting the countryside:

The culture is no less beautiful and conrasting.  Indigenous Mayan villages maintain their traditional cultures and language.  The Quech’ii, in the South, are a beautiful and curious people.  Young women above the age of 12 are forbidden to look at unmarried men until the time of marriage.  Children are curious and freindly.  Unfortunately, alcoholism is rampant and domestic violence is the norm:

The Mennonites, a hard working, industrious society, have six large encampments at various locations on the mainland.  The are the backbone of the non-tourist economy.  They produce 90% of the foodstuffs consumed within the country.  They believe that life should be hard.  They replace rubber tractor tires with molded concrete wheels:

Or, sometimes, even with iron wheels:

Their manner of dress is modest:

And their modes of transportation are quaint:

Yet, even here their dissimilation.   They are forbidden to own telephones, radios and automobiles.  They may not drive automobiles. The more enterprising lease automobiles, so that they do not own then, then they hire drivers.  They purchase cell phones for their drivers and the drivers hold the phones up their bosses ears so that they can make and receive calls.  I regret I have no photos of this comical process.

More images of my life in Belize




With my friend Ang Lee flying and crocodile hunting , Ang spent some time Belize researching for Life of Pi

WhoIsMcAfee Avatar

36 responses to “My life in Belize”

  1. GeorgiaPeaches Avatar

    Thank you for providing the email contacts – we have emailed them and requested the release of your friends as well as our disgust over this whole situation. Good luck! 🙂

  2. GeorgiaPeaches Avatar

    We stayed at your home 2 years ago in June of 2010. We met Cass and he is the nicest man around. I cannot believe they are holding him in a prison with conditions like you describe. We loved Belize and are shocked at all of this news. Praying for you and your friends.
    Is the brown dog okay – the one in the picture with Cass? I thought her name was Ginger – my husband and I love that dog! I loved how the ears were crooked!
    Is Roberto okay?

  3. Lolo Avatar

    You really are quite a comedian .Am I the only one who noticed the crushed coral roads in the Mennonite piece….concrete tires on the Road Grader …..and a concrete blade too.Yes John people are missing things LOL

  4. SL Avatar

    If you open your eyes when you travel to a place like Belize, you will see that tourism does not improve the life of the people who have lived there for generations.

    Who owns the resorts and restaurants that tourists are pointed to?

    I once visited a small village that had just opened itself up to be a port for cruise ships. The ship docks and the people are ushered into the “market place” or they load into vehicles for their guided tour, arranged by the cruise line.

    The market is a walled in square where you can buy trinkets or food. There are doorways in the 8 ft+ walls that lead to the real village. It’s like Oz. People see what they choose to see. It is not hard to deceive them.

  5. fendidonna Avatar

    Dear Mike,

    Regretfully, I do not do other’s bidding so I’d suggest you start this OUTSTANDING idea for a blog yourself.

    Your comment is a little disturbing to me, so good luck with that!

  6. Dan Armeneau Avatar
    Dan Armeneau

    Red says,
    “done business there for 10+ years”

    Well sir, you’re a relative noob then. I would have to agree with Qing Wan here. UDP is the worst Government ever that the Belizean population has ever had to endure. Dean Barrow is an arrogant prick – excuse my French – doesn’t like white guys – doesn’t seem to mind white gals though.

    Years ago I was heading out to Crooked Tree when my rental vehicle got a flat tire – spare was lacking air as well. Traffic was a little light in those days but eventually a Land Rover came bouncing down the road and the gentleman stopped to ask if everything was OK. He helped me throw the 2 flats in the back and told me to hop in as he knew where we could get the tires fixed. Turns out the lone occupant of the Land Rover was Mr. George Price. Hell of a nice guy.

    We talked at great length while the tires were being repaired in some family’s back yard and on the way back to where the rental vehicle was sitting on a jack on the side of the road. Wouldn’t let me buy him a Coke and insisted that he buy me one. Even bought one for the pretty little girl that was selling them. All in all it probably ate up three or four hours out of his day. This was a man that cared about the citizens of Belize and fretted some about what the future might bring! Everybody seemed to know him and not one failed to wave when we drove by. Certainly no one gave him the finger.

    If that same scenario were to play out today it would likely go something like this:

    Stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire and a flat spare. Scared stiff that someone might come along, rob me blind and maybe decide to take my life just out of spite. Finally see a convoy of black vehicles with blacked out windows coming down the road. The current UDP Prime Minister and his entourage speeds up as they go by spraying me with gravel and covering me in thick dust. Have to assume they were just out buying some votes. Eventually end up walking to town rolling the tires down the road – get them fixed and walk back. Rental vehicle is no where to be seen!

    That’s the difference between the UDP and the PUP.


  7. obiagu Avatar

    My warm regards to you, its unfortunate and saddening to imagine what you and your friends are passing through. My condolence to the family of the murdered neighbor whose death triggered all this tragedy. I do hope the culprit is arrested and the innocents are freed. As I follow this happening, what’s has continually come to mind, partly because I’m an artist, is to adapt this reality into a movie. A movie is more interactive and more influential with wider reach. As the story builds and comes to and end, it will be ideal to come to belize now and follow up a story that has the potential to achieve what you had always wanted, to bring justice to Belize. I trust you already have a glimpse of my idea. Kindly contact me if it pleases you to further this angle. Thank you as we continue to pray for the release of your friends.

  8. Kelly Baez Avatar
    Kelly Baez

    Take it easy Mike. John is doing what he feels is best when he tackles the goliath of corruption that Belize has become. The people of Belize will be very happy if all the corruption gets exposed and they can get help fixing it. Do you want them to sell their souls for a few tourist dollars or fight for their freedom? Belize sounds like a toxic mess for a lot of people right now, not just John McAfee.

  9. Qing Wan Avatar
    Qing Wan

    I also have lived in Belize for many years and am still here and the UDP is the worst. They say they are against corruption but they are just against the other party, the PUP. They are even more corrupt than the PUP! They have Gaspar Vega making scandal after scandal, Barrow stealing private companies through expropriation. and other ministers drunk driving up in Mexico on holiday. Guns are more prevalent than ever and crime is always on the rise. Taxes are about to go up because Barrow does not want to restructure the government’s expenses so that he can afford to pay off bondholders. Businesses get shaken down by UDP personnel all the time here and if you don’t pay up, they shut you down. You may have been a traveling salesman type or someone with his assets outside of Belize but we are terrorized by this government and we do not have the option to get away.

  10. Maid Marion Avatar
    Maid Marion

    There are 1500 newspapers, 1100 magazines, 9000 radio stations, 1500 TV stations, 2400 publishers owned by 3 corporations. This is why the information being published about you and Belize is very different than what is really happening. For the detractors who ask why you stay where you’re not wanted, blah, blah, blah. I, for one, am glad you have chosen to use your money and “power” (however that manifests) to shed light on the corruption and the underbelly of the system in Belize, a country and people that you truly have a deep love for. I find it interesting that so many “business” persons in Belize are not happy with your continued public accounts of what is really happening. These are the same people who continually exploit the very natural resources and people you have committed to defend. The majority of these businesses are owned by expats, not Belizeans. The tourism industry does not benefit the Belizean people. Granted, some of them have jobs working for the expat owned businesses, but the vast majority still live a life of simplicity and extreme poverty. Thank you, John, for painting a clear picture of Belize. I am writing a letter to the Bureau of Tourism immediately after this post. Figure out how to get money to a third party who can aid in your continued effort. Email me if I can help. Please, be safe. And continue the good fight.

  11. James Galt Avatar
    James Galt

    I don’t think that John is trying to undermine the good people of Belize. It is like anywhere else that the endemic corruption has become too overwhelming. The good Belizean people are fed up with all the corruption and they need help! If John can expose the corruption and the patterns of injustice, then that will bring publicity to it, focus people on it, and hopefully bring about a change. What is your suggestion to John: don’t do anything to rock the boat and hope that all the corruption goes away on its own? Not likely to happen.

  12. Mike Avatar


    I’d like to send you reports on police corruption, including bribery & intimidating witnesses, from hundreds of towns & cities all across America. Would you please start a blog & ask all of the readers to contact their tourism boards & threaten to badmouth/boycott these cities if they don’t clean up their police departments? I’m sure that punishing the entire city & all of the inhabitants, will force them to do it. Too bad if it affects the people who live there.

  13. G Avatar


  14. G Avatar

    Hi John,
    I think my comment, which was the first one on this post this morning may have been lost. I simply a question in all sriousness: Would it be helpful to you if someone could come and help you get out of the country?

  15. Mike Avatar

    At the very least, I fear you will be deported. I can’t imagine how you expect to be welcomed back & left to return to your beautiful, scenic views & normal existence. You are attempting to hold the country’s main source of income, which is tourism, hostage, just as the high season begins. How is this helping the people of Belize to have a better life? You are asking us all to put pressure on the Tourism Board to get your friends out of jail? Is this not threatening them? People on this blog are even suggesting that you link this blog to Google searches for travel to Belize. How can you even think of doing any of this? I feel that you are betraying the country that you profess to love so dearly, by punishing the economic community that supports so many of its citizens. It disturbs me greatly & I feel like I am surrounded by a lynch mob & it is building to a frenzy. Please don’t let this go too far. I promise that you’re not doing yourself any favors.

  16. Dougie Avatar

    Wendy Axillou.. u have betrayed your land… we will probably see when the PUP wins again!

  17. Connie Avatar

    Boy this is frustrating at best. I can only imagine how you feel! Ironic that your telling us to “hang in there!” This is a repost of the letter that I sent to Belize tourism. One more time…

    Dear Sir,

    I emplore you to release the prisoners Cassian Chavarria and William Mulligan. I feel that your country is unjust in holding these people based on your case against John McAfee. I have been to your country and just knowing that these people are being held without just cause would make me reconsider never returning there for fear that it could happen to me.

    Furthermore, if they are not released expediously then I will be compeled to advise everyone I know in the United States to not travel to Belize.

  18. Mike Avatar

    Thank you, bruscolerismo. Everything I post, seems to get deleted, unless I heap praise & grovel, so I rarely bother to glance at this blog anymore. I tried to suggest a local blog in Belize that contains factual accounts from people who live there & have had firsthand experience with Mr. McAfee, but of course, this is not allowed. I guess we only get to hear his side of every “story”.

  19. John McAfee Avatar

    We have had some security issues this morning. Not all of the comments were saved when restoring our database. Hang in there.

  20. F. K. Avatar
    F. K.

    Where did all the comments of this thread go?

  21. Bobby Avatar


    You should really consider doing the Joe Rogan podcast. I believe he has all ready reached out to you via twitter. Let the whole world know the entire true story.


  22. Mike Avatar

    Then turn yourself in, so these innocent people can be released & get on with their lives. They must know something about your behavior & the events leading up to the murder & are probably being held as material witnesses, and for their own protection. Just a guess.

  23. fendidonna Avatar

    Your friends are fortunate to have you. I hope they are OK and will be released soon.

    You are doing an amazing job here (Chad too) and I am hugely supportive of your cause. It makes me really happy to see this hit the international broadsheets in a more credible manner than it originally did (when Gizmodo & Wired were just being quoted, basically).

    I can understand why some people are cynical; the stuffmonger/bluelight “incident” naturally prompts the initial question as to whether this is a joke too (or the alternative scenario of drug-induced paranoia) because what you speak of now is remarkable in its awfulness and an alien concept to some part of the so-called western world……So it’s GREAT that you’ve given enough information for anyone to do their own research into the ways of the Belize government to support that there is – at the bare minimum – the possibility that what you say is 100% true irrespective of their opinion on the bluelight matter or lack of local experience.

    The facts is, I’m not sure how anyone now could discount your posts as “solely” paranoia in this political environment before asking many, many more questions (the answers to which I look forward to you revealing in due course).

    Naturally, there will always be people who prefer to dismiss someone who seems to have lived their life (so far, and btw long may it continue!) to the fullest extent, relatively unencumbered by the expectations and conventions of society, and with a little pocket money to boot. It’s called jealousy and it can override the most basic logic. Others will look at you as someone who inspires them and may be more inclined to believe everything even before they have all the facts…the opposite situation in fact.

    I am possibly in the latter group and fine with that. I believe your track record in life shows you to be a very able and indeed exceptional spokesman for liberty.

    So I hope you keep talking, keep safe, and keep happy.

    Best wishes, and my kind regards to Samantha too,


  24. Red Avatar

    Sorry, meant the “one PUP rep out there.” Late night ….

  25. Red Avatar

    I’m reading this blog, and wondering why you don’t just get the fuck out of Belize …. As explained below, i do a ton of work in Belize. We actually met down there in San Pedro in 2010, I think – you didn’t seem to be a crazy murderer to me then, but then again I might be a lousy judge ….

    I agree and disagree with you about Belize. There is an old joke that the way to make a little money in Belize is to arrive with a lot of money, and there are certainly a fair number of hucksters, scammers, and Con artists. The political system is toxic – PUP vs. UDP rules over all. The social services in the country are a mess. Many of the government officials are corrupt. However, as someone who has now successfully done business there for 10+ years, and done it with some of the people mentioned in various articles about you, I have to say that your description of their character doesn’t jibe with my experience. For example, you mention a certain Orange Walk official shaking you down, but that’s not really his style in my experience. There is always a “cost of doing business” but it is rarely put out there directly unless you were dealing with the old PUP regime. I know he has significant issues, but in my experience Barrow has been a pretty good, relatively non-corrupt PM. Much better than the alternative anyway.

    I wonder what you did to incur the wrath of the government, and specifically the police force. The police force is a mess and a joke. The GSU and the gangs are at war, and I’m just guessing the GSU thought your money was going to the crips or the bloods? i cant make sense of it otherwise – I’ve dealt with guys down there who have cut wide swaths and pissed off a lot of people. Hell, I’ve occasionally been one of those guys. None of us were framed for murder.

    When they were just harassing you, my guess was that the UDP guys in Orange Walk were afraid you were a deep pocket behind the one UDP rep out there. However, that cannot explain the murder frame-up. Nothing else about your story is different than scores of older white guys who move to Belize, have a good time, fuck a lot of the young girls, piss of a couple of locals, etc. Refusing a shakedown doesn’t explain it either … I’ve refused plenty of them (even after being threatened), never had anything come of it . I’m really curious what’s behind the curtain, because ther has to be more to it.

    Also, there are no mysteries in Belize – the country is too small. I have never had a single thing happen (including the theft of my luggage from my room) that I couldn’t solve within a few days by paying cab drivers, other locals, and yes, even government officials for after-hours help. If you really are innocent, plenty of people already know about it. Someone has the poor victim’s computer and iPhone. If you are innocent, I hope to hell you have people on the ground with fistfuls of American dollars to get the true story. If you don’t, post it in this thread and I’ll get my guys to do it (though you will have to figure out how to pay them – I can just give you the names)

    As an aside, I also wonder what Belizean lawyers you are using. Seems like half of them are related to the PM or are working for the gov’t. I’ve only found a couple who were competent and honest, and I’ve dealt with nearly all of them. You can’t use Rodwell Williams or Lois Young, obviously (too bad for you, theyre both good lawyers). I hope to god you aren’t using Michael Young, Glen Godfrey, Said Musa or Michel Chabat – I’ve seen them either rob their clients blind at the “gringo rate” or simply do stupid things (sometimes both). I personally have seen good things from the lawyers at WH Courtenay & Co., Fred Lumor, Marshalleck’s firm, and a female Elrington who was at Pitt’s firm, I think. The remainder fall somewhere in the middle.

    Anyway, back to my original point: get out of Belize and challenge extradition from the US, France or somewhere like that. The political, insular, and sometimes unfair justice system down there should be enough to give any reasonable court pause with respect to extradition. Oh, and get someone to SEO your blog and other postings so every google search for “Belize tourism” leads to your site. Stop playing James Bond.

    Unless you are guilty, in which case you should turn yourself in and start working on your early release from prison.

    A lot about your story doesn’t make sense to me, but I pass no judgment on anything that happens in Belize, because anything is possible down there. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more . . . .

  26. sunny Avatar

    I am praying for you John.. this is all wrong. I have questions for you but don’t know how to ask in a public forum. Can you email me?

  27. Cc Avatar

    A beautiful land of many subtitle contrasts and life styles. Thanks John for posting the photos – Some of the culture I had no idea. It shows you love the county, the people, and you even admire the desperity of cultures found there.

    Craig WA State USA

  28. geekcherokee Avatar

    Good very early from here John. I do hope those beautiful views you shared are giving you the mediation you need now. Thank you for the share!
    Do you have any idea what your friends are being held on? It may help others to know, so they feel comfortable emailing for their cause – otherwise they only have your word that they know nothing…so plz help.
    This is not my view, however, many seem to be biting at any of the “crazy” bait they can feed off of and your (friends) innocents in this should be seen clearly.
    I do hope they are not in harms way!
    You’re above all an eloborate man, who in honesty or lie (prank – or above) makes for an exciting ride.
    In the end, you owe no explanation to any public, but have every right to decide if the animals want to gawk and feed – let them feed from more than one side (and with bright delight.)

  29. John Avatar

    I admire you John Mcafee. Keep up the good life! I do however think you should leave the country if you haven’t already… How about moving to a country that is hostile to the West.. Then you could live without fear of extradition and you could offer your services to that government in the field of cyber security. I suggest Venezuela. You could probably make it their by boat? Take care and stay safe..

  30. Mandy Avatar

    I understand your calling for the release of your friends. I have commented once before and here is what I do NOT understand – why did you stay in Belize given the recordings you have? You have commented you, with age, have become more willing to seek justice for those who have none because you have nothing to lose. I understand this, and applaud it. BUT wouldn’t your cause be better served with a leader who is free and not a perceived ‘murderer’? Some of these decisions make me wonder if this is a ‘made up’ story. I am not saying I think you killed this man, only that things are not adding up.

  31. Ignatz Avatar


    Glad you see you’re out of trouble for now, you and I had dinner six years ago at Azul.. you showed up off the beach with your girlfriend and i was with my wife visiting from California. I was there for a private dinner with the owner and his wife and you two showed up and joined us, it was a fun night.

  32. Kevin Avatar

    Hi from Canada,

    I’ve been following this story with some interest now and view much of this with curiousity. One of the biggest parts of this story seems to navigating your way in a culture that is different from where you’re from.

    What I’m troubled about though, how is it that we don’t assume all of this – yes, all of this – is an elabourate story? I guess everyone can assume what they want in the end, but I just don’t feel that what I have read here, in other places and even that Wired stuff really paints a story about your true motivation.

    Certainly, the hardships that seems to be taking place – on the surface are horrible. And because of that, are you intent on bring down the goverment? I know others have brought up and end game, but I just wonder – what is the light at the end of this tunnel?

    Surely, it seems that the more public attention you gain in this environment (if it is as it’s being described) you become more and more of a persona non grata every day, no?

    In every case, my hope is for the safety of everyone involved and a resolution that brings peace to all of this. The country of Belize looks like a beautiful place.

  33. John G Avatar

    Great to have some faces to go with the names… this will help

  34. beachbaby8 Avatar

    MY Letter to the tourism board
    I am so saddened by the turn of event for John McAfee, although he may be a bit eccentric from what I have read I do not believe he is a killer. Could he use some therapy? Perhaps. I have always heard wonderful things from my American friends about their trips to Belize, and hope to visit one day. If McAfee dies on your soil, I would be very hesitant to make a tourism trip.

    You have a lovely country, and I do hope to make a visit one day.

  35. OriginalWoman Avatar

    I really hope your friends are released soon. This situation you are in will end up in your favor. Just stay prayerful and have faith. And talk out your options with a good and trusted lawyer.