I'm not sure how they did this. I pulled the bumper cover loose to the point that I needed to remove the pins under the edge of the trunk. There doesn't seem to be any way to do this without ripping the bumper off. In which case my previous idea of cutting the striker with a saw is still the least damaging I've come up with. Back to the bumper removal, I haven't tried removing the foam backing yet to see if the underside of the pins are visible. That is my next step since the bumper is still hanging.FWIW: I mentioned in one of my earlier postings that my dealer had to drop the rear bumper and break in the latch area from under the car.
To me this is the obvious place to go if a destructive method is required. I wouldn't force it appart to point that that something breaks because you just don't know what that will be. I want to control the damage in this case. I would just cut the striker loop causing damage only to the striker and possibly the sill plate. Total cost to repair would $80 + the latch if it needs replaced.I'm beginning to wonder if the least ghastly option is to force the deck lid and latch apart with wedges.