Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is so disgusted by the dirt in his new prison cell that he has asked for chlorine to clean it himself, his lawyer said.

Guzman, 59, was abruptly transferred from his maximum-security prison near Mexico City to a jail in Ciudad Juarez, at the United States border, at the weekend.

His lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, told AFP that he has since filed two motions to have Guzman returned to the Altiplano lockup, about 90km west of the capital.

Refugio Rodriguez said Guzman should remain close to the courts in Mexico City and nearby Toluca that are reviewing his criminal cases. Ciudad Juarez is nearly 1800km away.


He said Guzman is isolated and complains that his "cell does not have the best health conditions". "Joaquin has asked that they give him products to clean it, such as chlorine."

Guzman had already complained about his prison conditions at the Altiplano, saying that authorities were waking him up several times per night.

The Sinaloa drug cartel leader has staged two spectacular prison breaks in his lifetime.

In 2001, he hid in a laundry cart to sneak out of a maximum-security lockup in western Mexico. After a long manhunt, he was detained in February 2014.

He escaped from the Altiplano prison in July 2015, when he snuck out through a 1.5km tunnel leading to his cell's shower.

Guzman was recaptured in January and sent back to Altiplano, which is still considered the highest security prison despite his escape.