LUCAS DO RIO VERDE, Brazil — The ambitions are dizzying, some of the grandest in Latin America since thousands of laborers perished building railways through the forbidding jungles of Brazil more than a century ago.
China has sought to build a “dry canal” in the form of a railway across Colombia, linking the Caribbean to the Pacific. Chinese investors announced another huge venture in Honduras, two ports and a 375-mile railroad from sea to sea. Then this June, China announced yet another megarailway — nearly 10 times as long — across Brazil and Peru, stretching from one coast of South America to the other.
But across the region, one large Chinese rail venture after another has come crashing against the hard realities of Latin American politics, resistance from environmental groups, and a growing wariness toward China. While China boasts of its rail initiatives around the world, it has often been stymied here in Latin America, reflecting how even China’s formidable ambitions have limits.
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