Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday that he was boosting the military presence along the border with Venezuela as tens of thousands of Venezuelans have tried to escape food and fuel shortages and a clampdown on civil rights.
"This is a tragedy and I want to reiterate to [Venezuelan] President [Nicolas] Maduro: This is the result of your policies," Santos said.
More than 2,100 additional soldiers will be deployed along the border, with its hundreds of trails where refugees can slip through illegally.
Santos said Colombia would also no longer issue special cards to Venezuelans, allowing them to temporarily cross the border to buy food, medicine and other goods that are scarce at home.
All Venezuelans currently in Colombia must now register with authorities. The Santos government estimates 600,000 Venezuelans are living in Colombia, twice as many as last August.
Santos called on the international community to help provide aid to the Venezuelans in his country.