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More than a month ago a joint police force comprising of the Gang Suppression Unit and the Anti Drug Unit descended on Taylor's Alley in Belize City with brutal and excessive force, according to residents who spoke to the media right after the incident. It was not the first time that the GSU was being accused of police brutality and the new Minister of Police John Saldivar ordered that an investigation be carried out. The findings of the report revealed that apart from using excessive and unjustifiable force, police also took residents of Taylors Alley by surprise.

As mentioned, it is not the first time that the GSU is being accused of police brutality and tonight the Gang Suppression Unit is again under extreme scrutiny after a U.S National living here in Orange Walk is accusing the unit of using excessive force on him and his employees. He is no other than 66 year old John McAfee, one of the first persons to design an anti virus software and to develop a virus scanner. McAfee, who was first living in, San Pedro relocated to Orange Walk a few years ago. He has been living in Belize for the past five years but on Monday he had one of the worst experiences ever. Here is that story.

Screen_shot_2012-05-02_at_8.05.03_PMCarmelita Perez-Reporting

The peacefulness and tranquility of the McAfee residence located near the toll bridge, was interrupted on Monday morning when members of the Gang Suppression Unit barged in without warning.

According to U.S retiree John McAfee, who has been living in Belize for the past five years, he is still unaware of what was the mission of the GSU. What he can say tough is that the unit rained down on him and his employees as if they were criminals.

John McAfee- Claims Police Brutality

“It happened yesterday morning exactly at 6:00 am, they burst through the gate about fifty of them with fully automatic weapons and I come pit to saw the commotion and I was undressed and I went back in and then put on a shoes and a shirt and the nest thing I knew is that they had me against the wall, they had confiscated my passport, they confiscated weapons, they kept me and my staff in handcuffs for fourteen hours outside all day without food, when we asked for food they just left, it was the most bazaar encounter I have ever imagined.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“You mentioned fifty individuals, were they from the BDF, GSU?”

John MacAfee- Claims Police Brutality  

 “It seems to be the entire GSU force, there was certainly Mr. Vidal, there was Sergeant Caliz, I believe the entire force was there plus BDF soldiers and not only on this side but on the other side of the river, they had the house surrounded and they came through the gates, they murdered my favourite dog, they broke property, they broke down the doors again it was a very strange encounter.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Did they tell you why they were here?”

John MacAfee- Claims Police Brutality 

“They said they had a warrant but they did not show it to me of let me read the warrant.”

According to McAfee leading the unit was GSU Commander Marco Vidal who refused to show him a search warrant or much less let him read it. Officials searched the entire surrounding including the river and found nothing. Then it was time to search the living quarters including that of McAfee’s.

As you can observe locks were broken and doors were damaged despite the fact that officials were informed that all doors leading into the living quarters were unlocked.

John McAfee- Claims Police Brutality

“They search all day long and finally came up with a completely fraudulent charge, a fire arm charge, having a fire arm without license, I indeed had a license, show them all of my licenses they were taken from me put in someone’s pocket and then I was hold in and this was about eight o’clock at night they was all in and finally the US embassy had to intervene.”

At around 8:00pm McAfee and three of his employees were detained for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and escorted to the Queen Street Police Station under heavy security.

According to McAfee it was a bogus charge since he does have a license for the 9mm pistol that was found at his residence.  Despite the fact that one of McAfee’s employees traveled all the way to Belize City and presented the proper documents for the firearm, the U.S National was still not released from police custody. In fact McAfee was informed, according to him, that directives from higher ups were that he be released until yesterday or the day of the court hearing.

McAfee was released from police custody at minutes to one yesterday morning, but only after the U.S Embassy intervened.

John McAfee- Claims Police Brutality

“It was an unbelievable scenario for a country that allegedly has a democratic government and a structured police force.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“You spoke to the commissioner of police, what did he said to you, did he had any idea that this was going to take place?”

John MacAfee- Claims Police Brutality

“He said that the Embassy had called him this morning just before I called and had demanded that the passport be returned and the weapons be returned and I said that is not sufficient for m, there needs to be disciplinary action, this is an unacceptable thing for me and I think it is unacceptable for the Embassy and I think it is unacceptable to the world to allow a country to behave in such a fashion and pretend to be a democratic institution.”

So why exactly was McAfee raided by the GSU? Well according to him; he is being targeted by high officials of the United Democratic Party.

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Is this the first time that this is taking place?”

John MacAfee- Claims Polcie Brutality

“I’ve never had anything like this in my entire life.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Why do you think this happen?”

Screen_shot_2012-05-02_at_8.05.19_PMJohn MacAfee- Claims Police Brutality

“I think it is politics, number one I am not a political person, I was asked before the election to donate to a specific political party I did not do so, I am not foolish enough to align myself with any political party and I think that the gentleman that asked for the donation was petered after that rumours started flowing, radio station were being called by people saying what will we do with the white man by the toll bridge, it is just rumoured and animosity that as it goes up the ladder it just believed more and more until when it reaches the top it becomes absolute truth and it is nonsense.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Should I take it by what you are telling me that radio stations were called, they started talking about you that you were asked by the United Democratic Party to donate for their political campaign?”

John MacAfee- Claims Police Brutality 

“Yes and I rejected not because I had anything against the UDP but I just do not get involved in politics and that is exactly what I told them.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“And now you think that they are paying you back with that?”

John MacAfee- Claims Police Brutality 

“Absolutely they are paying me back with that.”

Belize already has a bad reputation when it comes to foreign investment and without a doubt Monday’s incident will only add insult to injury.

John McAfee- Claims Police Brutality

“I intent today to contact the American Press, they left my stories because I say things the way they are and I am very open and don’t mince my words so I can assure you that the American Press is going to have a field day with this and this will be the tope news for many weeks to come and I don’t think this is going to be good for Belize I think it will be the worst thing it can happen in this country but I have no choice because I am being targeted by powerful people in this country. I am seeking legal advice at this moment and we will be speaking with attorneys presently.”

As McAfee mentioned, he will be seeking legal advice. This morning four of McAfee’s security guards appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where they were charged for working as security guards without a license. Of note is that McAfee has contributed financially to a number of organizations including the police department here in Orange Walk.

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#2 Mcafee 2012-05-04 12:15
He deserved to be raided because he always walks around town with guns as if he is a cowboy. He could never have walk around the US with all those guns being displayed publicly. I applaud the GSU.
+3 #1 GOB DOES ANOTHER ONE 2012-05-03 09:13
Belize, a jewel being crushed.

The international reputation on the line, Mr. Prime Minister.

Runoff the investors, the jobs, the retired expats, the skilled labor, and the honest workers. Next wipe out the tourist industry, and nationalize it.

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