I had the same problem. You have to open from inside by releasing the top of the interior panel..squeeze your hand insisde and pull latch rod. Shine a torch down and have a look, its not that complicated. Once I had opended the boot I greased all the working parts after removing the internal panel, all working ok now.
Hope this helps.
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Rear hatch is locked or unlocked with a key. (if equipped) • To open the rear hatch, insert the key into the lock, turn it to the unlock position and pull up the rear hatch by pressing the handle (DOOR). You can also lock/unlock the latch (but not release it) with the central door lock system. • If unlocked, the rear hatch can be opened by pressing the handle (DOOR) and pulling the hatch up. • To close the rear hatch, lower and push down the rear hatch firmly. Make sure that the rear hatch is securely latched.
My back hatch would not open but it appears the lock was sticking and the return spring to the handle is broken. We used the key to unlock the back door and then door opened. Then husband sprayed WD 40 in all the lock holes. Now once we open the door we have to push the handle back down as return spring is still missing but the door opens :) . My van is a 2002 Ford Windstar.
I had the same trouble and found that I had to disconnect the glass hatch switch. It is probably defective like mine. I had to release the door by going from the inside and opening a little plastic door and open the whole hatch by using the emergency lever. Then I had to unscrew the plastic panel near the glass hatch and pry it apart just enough to disconnect the glass hatch switch. It is just a small connector that pulls apart. There are two connectors. One for the back wiper and then the glass hatch so make sure you disconnect the right one. This allows me to use the whole door but the glass hatch becomes useless unless you get a new switch.
You need to climb in the back and remove the plastic panel from the hatch to access the lock. There may be a small access door over the locking mechanism to help you avoid removing the whole thing. Could be dirty and sticky and fixable with a bit of graphite lube.