Abstract Research on the counter-reforms to Article 27 of the Mexican constitution has been challenged to bridge micro- and macro-level data and illuminate a general refusal to privatize land. Here, a layered approach poses a few possible answers. Drawing on data for the state of Campeche, I relate how ejido members effectively expanded their landholdings via the counter-reforms. Drawing on data for the municipality of Calakmul in Campeche, including a survey of nine ejido's, I discuss how the combined actions of federal policies, local administrators, and ejido members reinforced the ejido's de facto mixed common and private property tenures. In all, I show that, despite global pressures toward privatized land, Mexican policy-makers and ejido members alike are ambivalent regarding a privatized ejido. Nonetheless, state policies have delimited the ejido sector, if not in terrain, in the number of people with land rights in any given ejido.