Belize National Teachers’ Union President Resigns Amid Controversy

Belize National Teachers’ Union President Resigns Amid Controversy

Ruth Guerra-Shoman has made history tonight as the first president of the Belize National Teachers’ Union to resign twice within four months.  The former teacher has been under pressure by a group within the union regarding the eligibility to be president.  The group had brought to the forefront, Shoman’s criminal past where she was convicted some 20 years ago for theft.  Most recently, Shoman was being heavily criticized for misrepresentation regarding her role and relationship with US Department of State.  Love News understands that to conform to the requirements to run for President, Shoman indicated that she was employed the US Department of State.  This, however, proved untrue.  Based on that recent finding, we understand that Shoman was to face the Executive Council on Saturday where she would have required to answer to the employment matter.  Today, however, she has resigned and was scheduled to hand over the First Vice President, Jorge Mejia.  Speaking on the matter was Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca. 

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “You know, I’m very sorry to see Ms. Shoman go. I think she has served the union for many, many years as a strong advocate for teachers but I suppose that given the unrelenting pressure on her she may have chosen for personal reasons to step aside. Our work continues at the Ministry of Education with the Belize National Teachers Union and obviously we will await any decisions that they make about the future leadership of the union and we stand prepared and ready to work with the new president. But certainly it’s disappointing to me that a good, in my view, a good leader who has always been at the table, that’s why I found it very strange that these things came to light because Mrs. Shoman is no stranger to the BNTU table. She has always been at the table. I’ve been the Minister of Education before as you know some 20 years ago and she was there at the table then and she’s there now. So, you know, but we wish her well. You know, I’ve heard about back and forth but I know nothing about her employment and that sort of thing. We had very good meetings. We had, I think we had over those four months or so we had I think two at least two meetings with the ministry directly but we also had as you point out other meetings which she participated in with the JUNT and all of those meetings were I think very productive. In the last meeting we had with the BNTU and the Ministry of Education I think we resolved many of the outstanding issues regarding the CBA which has been pending for almost 15 years and that is the result of her leadership working along with us as well as of course Senator Elena Smith the former president who did a lot of work in that regard as well.”

Shoman was elected to succeed Senator Elena Smith in April 2023.  She resigned on May 8, and then retracted two days later. 

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