Father Sergio Restrep was born in Medellin, Colombia on July 19, 1939. He entered the Society of Jesus on December 12, 1957 and was ordained a priest on December 7, 1970. Always desiring to serve the poor, he engaged mainly in pastoral work as a collaborating vicar and as the director of the Instituto Obrero Tomás Villarraga from 1976-1979. His lengthiest stay in one place took place at Tierralta, where he remained for almost ten years. He rebuilt the church there and used his passion for art to turn a broken-down building into a beautiful center of worship. He even created a library and a school. He was known for his love and appreciation of nature as well.
However, while he was repainting the church, he purposefully included a mural that denounced the crimes and torture inflicted by the paramilitary groups in the region. He made sure to include a specific reference to the murder of Father Bernardo Betancur, a priest murdered at the hands of the paramilitaries. However, his work on behalf of the local population to pursue justice ended when the paramilitaries sent two men to kill Father Restrep. On June 1, 1989, he was shot while standing in front of the church at Tierralta.