The turning point: an illustrative case of deleterious effects of social media’s self-promotional

campaigns in nature protected areas, with legal consequences:

A risky promotional ice water swimming challenge was organized in the lake by “influencers” (“a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media”) and a tour operator. In the national park closed at that time (23.01.2021) by the regional Conaf resolution 57/2020. With little attention paid to the safety rules for such "challenges". In the midst of the pandemic, without respecting any Covid health protocols in force. With no communication from a lake where several lethal accidents occured in the last years. The accompanying TVN crew filming the event was performing filmmaking in private properties without any contact with nor authorisation by the landowners. The “event” in the lake and glacier, which has neither habilitated public access nor professional rescue coverage, has been (see below) widely and continuously promoted on social networks and in the mass media (first broadcast: TVN 10 July 2021), including the publication of inadequate information about the area.

Legal issues, seeking legal and other damages: Tita Ureta , Barbara hernandez nadadora, @barbarellah , @barbarehlla_h

  1. The obvious: The filming team was filming in obvious contravention of the basic norms for professional/commercial filming of the legislation on audio-visual services and audiovisual law. Legal actions under civil and audiovisual law are still on.

  2. Commercials were were filmed in private land, with no contact with

or authorisation by the landowners.

  1. Product of the unauthorised commercial filming was sold through

the production company, issues of  fraudulent use of property of others

and of disposing of their property against their will were raised under civil law procedures.

How will the usufruct be reimbursed to the landowners?

  1. Issues of payment of reparations and compensation to the wronged landowners for revenues from filming and advertisements; losses for private landowners and farmers can be calculate in monetary terms, unjustified enrichment issues. Potential suing for the proceeds of the movie.

  2. Copyright issues: the image of the property of others was sold under own presumed copyright (of the influencers and the tour operator). Trading license issues: under which license the use of property was traded?

  3. Taxation issues: General issue of taxation of influencers, for profits made, including sponsorships. No contract was concluded between the landowners and the influencers and the tour operator, who paid the taxes?

  4. Deceptive advertising: false information about the tourism destination.

  5. Commercial messages on social networks must be marked as advertisements.

  6. Generating the risk of spreading pathological agents in violation of an order issued by the health authority at times of epidemic is a criminal offense under national law.

  7. The publicity of this unacceptable, to say the least, promotional event and illicit filming, which resulted in a legal case, is continuing.

III. In the Project:                                                                                                                        Measures against overtourism

  1. Private property with private access routes. Tourism is not welcome.

  2. The landowners cannot be made responsible for facilitating the illegality of third parties’ actions in the LSRNP and in the private properties.

  3. The road is open to neighbours only; After the floods of 2023, the change of the course of the Mapuche river and removal of the road and trail they ceased to exist and will not be restored.

  4. Strict nature reserve. Registered status of land: agricultural land, in rehabilitation.

  5. No tourism business has rights in the project. All data on tourists, cars and other similar events, individual or with tourism business (operators or guides), are transmitted to the management of the park on regular basis.

  6. The property is monitored with surveillance cameras and drones. The images are the property of the landowners and can be used at their judgement within the limits of the law.

  7. The landowners reserve the right to transmit the data of your passage to the legal authorities in case of damage.

  8. Any professional/commercial use of any device capable of photographing or filming, including drones, without explicit agreement by the landowners or land stewards (lawyers under the Real right of conservation) is prohibited, like in any private property or national park . The project reserves the right to take necessary legal measures for non‐observance of this rule and to invoke respective liability.

  9. The property does not have borders with fiscal land, the land is adjacent to the national park and other private properties.

  10. The signposting was entirely done using only personal funds, for purposes of training of students in law.

  11. Any removal of wild fruits, plants or animals will be prosecuted by law. All active wildlife photography is banned.

  12. Due to proliferation of bicycle touring guides with wrong information, the Highlux company being a good example,  the access to bicycles has been banned. Bicycle bloggers getting income from their trips in no way shared with the rural areas they use.

Nature is not a playground, it works hard to survive.

Tourism is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions and input to climate change.pdf

2022: pollution from tourism and research increasing glaciers snowmelt.

The “no-trace” tourism is a lure,

the main trace is travel to the place and our mere presence in nature.

Tourists seldom respect the places they visit

Leaving more than footprints: impact of tourism in Chilean Patagonia

“Sustainable tourism” on fast melting glaciers in an area accessible only by planes or cruise ships is an oxymoron.

Disclaimers:                                                                                                Drug trafficking in national parks.

- The project is not and cannot be assigned to the regional ZOIT Chelenko, unlike shown on its map : a zone of the industry of tourism, a large tourism project implemented by private business, including in different types of private properties without prior consultation and agreement, in the 3 requisite zones of the biosphere reserve and in nature protected areas, and which has not been evaluated, so far, for an eventual environmental impact assessment as foreseen for large tourism projects by the regulations of the national EIA system.

  1. -The project is in no way related to the tourism business “Ruta Leon” or its guides, nor to its camping Ventisquero Leon, both at the start of the valley. In no way can it share the liability for any initiative of these businesses (see example below) or their staff. Under no circumstances they have been granted any rights to develop any type of activities within the project, tourism or other. Under no circumstances they can represent the project anywhere. in case any authorisation has been issued by this business or any other tourism company in the name of the project or its properties - these constitute forgery and falsification.

  2. -The tourism business which has been the most active in selling the use of land and investments of the landowners of the valley, to access the State protected area (Kalem Patagonia), according to the monitoring of tourists’ passage through the project, is in no way associated with this project or benefits from any authorisation by it. Anita Luisa Romero,Ana  Anita Romero Aguirre, Ruta Leon, @rutaleon, Franco Trinidad Rojas, Pascual y Anita Diaz, Roger Pascual Díaz Georgia, cabalgasur, turismo Kalem Patagonia, @kalem_patagonia, @cabalgasur, @montagna_patagonia, balloon aysene

  3. -The project is in no way related to the refuge / Airbnb “valle Leones”.                  Airbnb and influencers are chasing locals

A private site-based legal monitoring programme was initiated in order to address this accountability and liability impasse, affecting nature and law enforcement, and diluting responsibilities.

Green growth’ doesn’t exist – less of everything is the only way to avert catastrophe

Trip financed by CIEP, National Geographic and Patagonia:

“In the habitat I am exploring the human is not welcome.

How can I prevent people from going here and destroy everything?”

Tourism is the second, after climate change,

cause of glaciers melting (SER Conference, Iceland, September 2018)

Disease outbreaks more likely in deforestation areas

Scientific tourism in the form of scientific research expeditions and biodiversity

assessments generally present risks for the ecosystem they study.


It is recognised at various levels that tourism, growing exponentially and becoming overtourism (global issue destroying the society), whether ordinary, “nature-based”, “eco”, “scientific”, “adventure”, “conservation”, hunting, “revenge”, “de- or re-forestation”, “bad weather”, “last chance”, sport and, in particular, “instratourism”, constitutes a threat to nature in all its forms and media. One of the main objectives of this legal project is to protect the already critically damaged nature from continued pressures, including exploitation through the uncontrolled development of mass tourism in the area, which is acting in a synergetic cumulative effect with other stresses, leading to the disneyfication of nature and culture.

In the absence of proactive management, long-term planning. Aggravated by the fact that Tourism law, especially on recreation and nature-based tourism, a developed branch of law nowadays,

is not taught and is enforced ad minima in the area.

The land of the project and its close surroundings are a good example.

Hence a goal of the project: restore the Rule of Law in this part of the buffer zone of a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

The place was not acquired to facilitate access to a State-regulated area: a closed sector

of the core area of a biosphere reserve = the Laguna San Rafael national park (LSRNP),

an action for which any person, physical or legal, would be legally liable,

but for land protection and restoration as it was severely degraded and deserved a better life,

focusing on sustainable degrowth and on the protection of the right of nature to its own life.

The project does not support and is not related to any tourism association, group or activity.  

No tourism operations of whatever kind are allowed within the project.   

I. The settings:

1. The sector Leones (glacier and lake) of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field, like all other glaciers and their lakes of this Ice Field, accessible from the Leones valley, is located in the Laguna San Rafael national park (LSRNP, see map), a UNESCO biosphere reserve. There are no open entry points for public into this national park, and therefore into the ice field, in this sector. Access to State-protected areas, such as national parks, is regulated by Conaf. The only way to visit the LSRNP and the Northern Ice Field is by booking entries into an open sector of the park through the official platform. No more than 1% or 2% of the national parks are enabled for the transit of people.

Legal issues:

- Confirmed regular checks by the rangers in the sector Leones of the Northern Ice Field.

You may be able to pay the fines directly to the management of the park (Conaf),

  or there is an office in Puerto Tranquilo.

  1. -The area is under surveillance, drone and cameras. All information

   on tourism passage, whether individual or with tourism operators or

   guides, is transmitted to rangers of the park. Eco patrols in operation.

2.  There are NO tour operators or freelance guides with valid permits for running business in the sector Leones of the LSRNP, a fact confirmed by the State managing authority of the park. Please contact the management of the LSRNP for confirmation. 

Legal issues:

- Legal base: Decree No. 50 on tourism concessions, Law 20.423 on tourism and its regulation decree No. 19.

- The local actors of the tourism industry have created a major problem: overlooking deliberately the critical need to meet all legal requirements necessary for the conduct of their business activities, thus implying collective responsibility of the tourism industry for cumulative damage of this diffuse industry.         Check list tour operators

3. Terrestrial route to the sector Leones of the LSNP:

As from the turn from Ruta CH-7 (Carretera Austral), the transit through the Leones (river Delta) valley is crossing exclusively private rural properties, from 15 to 20 private agricultural plots of land adjacent to the LSRNP (source: maps of The private status of this access (path X-732 and further trail) was confirmed by the Road Service (Vialidad MOP) of the region and at least three local lawyers. The opportunistic trespassing of private land by external business or by any other passage in no way transforms private access into a public road or creates legal servitudes for public passage or in favor of the national park, the creation of these being a specific process defined by law and to be arranged by the habilitated authority. The absence of servitudes and of public access is also confirmed in the management plan of the LSRNP.

Legal issues:

- Breach of property rights of the rural landowners in the valley, non-recognition of the right to property;

- The green “public road” sign to the “Campo de hielo” and other similar signs installed wittingly, advertising open access to this State-administered area at the turn into the valley are, therefore, misleading and bear legal consequences. They constitute disinformation and “false advertising” for potential visitors;

- General Law on Urbanisation and Building: it is not allowed to create streets in rural areas (art. 55-56);

  1. -The commercialisation by the local tourism industry for its own benefit of the use of private rural properties, of their efforts and investments, may be qualified as a legal tort of selling the use and unjustified use of the property of others (res aliena) with no mandate for it, and is subject to respective legal claims litigating this activity, as well as compensation claims for the resulting unjustified enrichment, for compensation of damage and losses of the landowners affected, for restitution to the only use by the landowners of the wrongfully used properties, for compensation for the wrongful use of the land, at maximum -  illicit enrichment;

  2. -Legal responsibility for facilitating and promoting access of a non-open entry point into a national park.

- Most (if not all) of the land in the valley is registered for agricultural use. The above-mentioned tourism pressure is illicitly, de facto, imposing a change of land use for “industrial” use, the tourism industry being one of the world’s largest industries. ;

- Any external activity using the shared between the rural landowners resources would require their agreement, properly legally registered, to use their respective land plots;

  1. -As mass tourism is an important vector of pathogens, of Covid-19 among others, special liability can be invoked under the national law on propagation of illnesses (Art. 318.bis of the Criminal Code), the right of the home owners to check the sanitary hazards entering into their properties having been violated.

4. Civil actions and proceduresThe person, physical or legal, who caused the damage, is obliged to compensate it.

A. Liability can be invoked and damages and interests claimed, individually and, in particular, collectively:

  1. a)In case of non-residential passage, with tour operator, guide or not, by visitors, for damage:

physical, moral, to property, intentional tort, etc. resulting from legitimately assuming that you are in a public space while you are, in effect, in a genuinely private property, using a private access, this delusion been attributed to the misinformative advertising of private lands for public use and non-authorised transit to State regulated areas, mentioned above; for fines received in the Northern ice field and the national park; for non-acceptance into various agricultural properties and nature protected areas on the way; for absence of coverage by insurances, either personal or of the tour operators or guide; for having bought a corrupted tourism product; for absence of means of communications; for absence of rescue coverage in case of accident; for attacks by any type of animals; for any other security issue, etc.

b) In case the rural land property rights have been affected, for:

appropriation and depletion of the resources (for example: damage by cars to property, such as the road) of the owners of the rural and agricultural land, including the depreciation of value of land and degraded investments; as well as any type of damage resulting from treating private land as public, such as from tourism invasion and any fire started by them, from facilitation of sale of use of private land and resulting unjustified enrichment,  from non-solicited constructions in private land and nature protected areas, for damage to private access routes by heavy vehicles, etc. For harm to reputation (including for defamation) and violation of the right to image, forgery and fraud in documents.

In case of extensive use by tourism industry: Such cases would lead to compensation claims for the selling of the use of the land and of the image, with dividends, including the proceeds of the operations and savings resulting from them, as well as restitution of the use of the illegally appropriated estate (land) to the only use by its owner.

B. Depending on the case and type of damage, the claims would be addressed by the injured party to:

The origin of the installations which provide the misleading information:  Road service of the commune and /or the tourism committee ; the tour operator, guide or the publicity of the industry who put you, knowingly, in this compromising situation; to the Rewilding foundation if you saw it in the passport of the Parks Route or similar documents. Why this big tourism business, promoting “unofficial” entries in a State Protected Wilderness Area, did not verify all legal requirements remains a mystery.

The civil law claims for all above could be also addressed to respective business of a publication with false information such as the article in Ladera Sur ; or to the , a digital marketing agency from Santiago; or to the clothing company Atakama, if you saw it there. Or to the bicycling blog you consulted. If it’s the result of the promotion case below, contact the “influencers”.

degraded ecosystem valley Leones

Legal aspects of local tourism

A citation: “Tourism is unsustainable, effects can be mitigated, but not always. CO2 offsets are just hiding the damage”. Chris Thomson, Head of Responsible Tourism, Federation of Tour Operators.

You might imagine this landscape with 2 m of additional soil cover on the hills, ancient native forest and unknown wildlife - the situation before the ecocide, 80 years ago

Tourism is identified as a threat to bird life in the San Rafael National Park :

If we loved Nature we would not have put it under intense stress

by our occasional, disposable and hedonistic visits for “recreational use”

One-third of global protected land is under intense human pressure | Science.pdf

In 1993 EUROPARC published the ground breaking report “Loving them to death.pdf”, which called for sustainable tourism in Europe’s Protected Areas, the situation is just worsening now

Loss of nature poses risks to economy and human health, uncontrolled tourism is accentuating this risk;

If you are passing by boat by the destroyed valley of the Leones/Delta river, representative of the situation in the region and reason for the project: critically degraded nature, ecosystem transformed by shock, a novel ecosystem.

Nature- and eco-tourism, including photography, is a major factor

of deaths of wild animals by exhaustion and starvation.

You may consider not to do to nature what you would not like to be done to you: abstain from violating its privacy, not consider it as an “object” or “thing”. We are protecting nature from ourselves - the best method would be to stay away.


Socio-ecological footprint of the event:

  1. The value of the land so far preserved, the joint efforts to protect the nature of the valley and its image were exported and sold to and by external players of the media market, through a typical “greenwashing”. No ecosystem services locally paid.

  2. One of the area of the filming is specially protected for its fragile biodiversity, under threat now.

  3. Increased anthropogenic stress through the interest of mass tourism and traffic to the closed sector of the national park through private rural land, an increase of the number of public and commercial events.

  4. The small, mainly agricultural, landowners of the valley see their property and other rights and interests ignored, their communal resources exploited. Previously done road repairs on a road used by the community are removed now to prevent further events of this type.

  5. For the nature protection project: the substantial efforts deployed to give the still vulnerable nature and wildlife a chance to regenerate are compromised by exposure, disrespect and misuse of resources.

  6. Probably compromising the UNESCO biosphere reserve status: staging “influencers” are not listed as a management tool in the management plan for the LSRNP and the biosphere reserve. .

  7. In order to perpetrate this “initiative” an exclusive contract  was concluded.

II.  If you, as homo turisticus consumeristicus, whether individuals or as businesses, decided anyway to see the meagre remains of the chunk of ice that used to be a glacier in the not habilitated sector of the national park, and witness the tragedy of the destroyed land on the way, you may be made liable for :

  1. Promoting this land and setting for public use and thus putting a successful nature restoration project at risk;

  2. Trespassing private agricultural land and breach of rights or landowners;

  3. Using tourism business (operators, guides, accommodation, navigation, etc.), not properly registered in Sernatur, or operating without necessary concessions, or other permits and licences (see above);

  4.   Entering non-habilitated State-controlled sectors of protected areas;

  5. The liability for leaving garbage, including bicycles and in private property, can be up to $ 200,000 (Law 20.879);

  6. High wildfire risk, no fire prevention or fire management in the valley, the use of fire is prohibited: penal liability according to Law 20653, the wildfires are mainly caused by humans;

  7. You might not be covered by travel and other insurances as you are trespassing private land with no formal authorisation;

  8. There are no tourism lawyers in the region, unlike in other popular tourism destinations;

  9. No medical or other help accessible in case of accident;        

  10. Do not forget that this land is not abandoned, you are passing by a strict nature reserve, the home of trees, plants and wild animals, through a tree cemetery, where the orchards are reserved to wildlife;

  11. Emergency and reporting contacts:, *4242; forest fire: 130; police: 134; drugs: 135.

  12. All accommodation and tourism services must be obligatorily registered in Sernatur (Law 20.423); Adventure tourism services must comply with the security standards in Art. 34 of Decree 19, large fines apply.

Entries into national parks are booked in :

If you visit a State Protected Area, you must register upon entering the premises with the park rangers at the Conaf offices.

Travel influencers sued for deceptive advertising