Archbishop Oscar Romero was labeled in life as a communist agitator and was killed on a church altar at the start of El Salvador's civil war.

Now that Pope Francis has declared Romero a martyr for the faith, his former opposition praises him as a social activist and promises to build a monument in the capital's center if they win the mayor's seat.

Edwin Zamora is candidate of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance, known as Arena, for the March 1 mayoral election. He has promised to erect the Romero monument if he wins and says Romero "belongs to all Salvadorans."

Pope Francis on Tuesday declared Romero a martyr who was killed out of hatred for his Catholic faith. Gunmen shot Romero while he celebrated Mass on March 24, 1980.