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Venezuela's Maduro expands crackdown with closure of another Colombian border crossing

  • FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2015 file photo, people carry their household belongings across the Tachira River from Venezuela, foreground, to Colombia, near San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, after Venezuela's government cracked down on illegal migrants from Colombia he blames for crime and shortages. On Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, diplomats explored new avenues to resolve the crisis with the presence of Brazilian and Argentine foreign ministers in Caracas and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, on the border between the two countries. The U.N. reports that almost 1,500 people were deported recently and nearly 17,000 have left voluntarily.  (AP Photo/Eliecer Mantilla, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2015 file photo, people carry their household belongings across the Tachira River from Venezuela, foreground, to Colombia, near San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, after Venezuela's government cracked down on illegal migrants from Colombia he blames for crime and shortages. On Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, diplomats explored new avenues to resolve the crisis with the presence of Brazilian and Argentine foreign ministers in Caracas and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, on the border between the two countries. The U.N. reports that almost 1,500 people were deported recently and nearly 17,000 have left voluntarily. (AP Photo/Eliecer Mantilla, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shake hands with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II, in Beijing, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shake hands with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II, in Beijing, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Venezuelan National Guard soldiers stand guard at the border between Colombia and Venezuela as seen from Paraguachon, Colombia, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expanded an anti-smuggling offensive along the country's frontier with Colombia and ordered the closure of the main border crossing in the country's biggest state. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Venezuelan National Guard soldiers stand guard at the border between Colombia and Venezuela as seen from Paraguachon, Colombia, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expanded an anti-smuggling offensive along the country's frontier with Colombia and ordered the closure of the main border crossing in the country's biggest state. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expanding an anti-smuggling crackdown along the country's frontier with Colombia and ordering the closure of a border crossing in the key economic state of Zulia.

As part of an announcement Monday night, Maduro also declared a state of emergency in three cities in the state, which is home to Maracaibo, the country's second-largest city.

In the past two weeks Maduro has closed six border crossings and deported more than 1,000 Colombian illegal immigrants he blames for fueling crime and smuggling contraband along Venezuela's western border.

Another 12,000 Colombians, some of whom have lived in Venezuela for years, have fled the crackdown fearing reprisals.

Colombia's government has denounced the action, which it says violates international law and causing a humanitarian crisis.