How do I clean or replace the tailgate lock mechanism? on 2002 Kia Sportage

The tailgate won't catch. I've tried WD-40 to see if it is just gunked up, but still cannot close it.

Asked by for the 2002 Kia Sportage
Is this a problem that has progressively gotten worse, or is it something that has happened suddenly.

If it happened suddenly, take a looka t the latch, it may already be latched. If so, use a screwdriver to pullit out while someone is holding the release handle.
I acts like it is already in the locked position, but the lift gate is not shutting all the way. I think we will have to remove it and clean it. Thanks!