P.M. denies that the U.D.P. sought election funding from McAfee
McAfee, his first brush with the law gained him notoriety in Belize. Back in May 2012, his house in Carmelita was searched by the Gang Suppression Unit. McAfee claimed he was held for long hours and it took the intervention of the US Embassy to get him released. In an interview he gave to News Five, he claimed he had been targeted because he did not provide political campaign funding to the governing party to which the PM also responded today.
John McAfee [File: May 2nd, 2012]
“This is clearly a military dictatorship where people are allowed to go and harass citizens based on rumor alone and treat them as if they are guilty before any evidence whatsoever is obtained. It is astonishing, it is beyond belief and I intended not to let this stand. I will not stand idly by to let this happen to me. I promise you. It began, innocently enough, with my refusal to donate to the local political boss of the district where I lived in Orange Walk and I have given at least two million dollars in gifts to the police departments in Orange Walk, San Pedro, Belize City, to the village of Carmelita, the City of Orange Walk. I have started programs to feed children; I’ve helped mothers whose husbands have simply disappeared. I am an old man, I am sixty-six. I have a fair amount of money and not much to do. So I spend it where I think it will do go. And I don’t ever invest in politics. I don’t donate to any political party; I don’t have any political affiliations. I think politics is foolish for a private citizen like myself to engage in—the winning party; you never get your money and the losing party; your on the outs. So I do not. And I refused to donate and the gentleman expected you know, I’ve given a million dollars to the police department, so he should get a huge chunk and he got nothing. Immediately after that, he began—not personality but his aids—began a campaign of calling to the local radio stations on Saturday morning talk shows saying the same thing; “What are we going to do about the white man at the toll bridge? He has all of these security guards. He’s probably involved in illegal activities. Everybody is complaining about him.” Nothing could be further from the truth. That politician by the way did not get reelected.”
“The question regarding contributions has been unanswered by the Party Chairman, has the party approached McAfee for donations?”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Absolutely not. I don’t, as I tell you certainly, I have not known who Mr. McAfee is. I’ve heard his name naturally, we all know his name, but I have never met the man; I’ve never spoken to the man. As far as I know, the Party Chairman has never met him; has never spoken to him. I know of no individual in the U.D.P. who ever spoke to Mister McAfee about contributions. This is another of his red herrings to try and construct this platform on the basis on which he can engage in this defamation campaign when he ought to man up and respect our laws and go in and talk to the police.”
McAfee has been a generous contributor to the law enforcement since he moved here in 2008 and as recent as last Friday, he posed with the local San Pedro authorities when he delivered a sizeable donation of equipment to the police.