It is common to read about the decline of U.S. influence in Latin America, and the rise of other economic partners such as Russia and China. Less common, however, are analyses of the concomitant rise of the Brazilian economic presence across the region. Raúl Zibechi has a really interesting article in Upside Down World on that topic. It discusses a number of situations where relations between Brazil and its neighbors have been rough.
It is basically the affirmation of an emerging power that its borders extend to wherever its national interests are. All great powers were built up in this way, with an attitude that has always been known as "imperialism." Maybe that's why many South Americans feel that Brazil is creating its own "backyard."
This is an important question as Latin America (and South America in particular) seeks to achieve some measure of unity and to create new multilateral institutions.