ABSTRACT. After the Mexican Revolution of 1910 the Mexican federal government created a communal resource-holding institution, the ejido, to redress long-standing land-tenure inequality. Between the 1930s and the late 1970s, the period of active redistribution of federalized and previously private resources, half of Mexico's entire area was transferred to the ejido sector. Local ejidos became the driving political and economic force at the municipio level for agrarian reform, redistributing local power and affirming the national stamp of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the dominant national party of the twentieth century. Although the 1992–1993 reforms to Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution prohibited any future expansion of communal lands and allowed privatization of communal resources, few widespread privatization schemes have taken hold in the vast majority of ejidos. In this article I provide examples of this new communal framework and its implications, with illustrations based on fieldwork in the states of Guanajuato and Sonora.