Oil.. there's a thought.
I'm kind of embarassed I haven't tried that yet.
The mechanism itself appears to be working ok. If I manually push up on the latching mechanism, it does close and lock, and pressing the trunk release button does indeed release it. Just the motion of pushing it down doesn't seem to work. I'll try oiling or wd-40ing it in the morning and then go from there. I have an appointment scheduled, but it's not till the end of the month, and I'm not keen on leaving it like this for a whole month.
Thanks for the help so far, and I'll update if I figure it out prior to having "trained professionals"(tm) fix it for me.
Cheers, and goodnight!