Colombian police said Wednesday they had rescued more than 500 migrants in the country’s jungles who have been stranded in remote areas for more than a month.
The migrants were among more than 400 rescued during the first six days of the mission, which ended Wednesday after police and military forces in the city of Santa Marta rescued 11.
Police say they will send up to 10 troops to the area where the migrants are staying.
The soldiers will escort the migrants back to Colombia, where they will be transported to a temporary camp, police spokesman Manuel Gonzalez said.
Authorities have not said how many migrants were rescued, but some have been reported missing.
More than 700 migrants have been rescued in the area, police said.
The camp is being operated by the Colombian government.
In Colombia, migrants are not allowed to live in tents, because they are illegal and could damage the environment, said Diego Martinez, a professor at the University of Colombia who has studied the issue.
There is also concern that the migrants may return home, Martinez said.
The number of migrants stranded in the Colombian jungle has grown by a third in the past two weeks, he said.
Many are trying to make the long trip to Colombia because they don’t have adequate food, medical supplies and medical care, Martinez told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
Migrants who are rescued are taken to a hospital or sent to a camp, which can cost thousands of dollars, he added.